5 April 2019

Nigeria: Odemwingie Reveals Biggest Regret After Retirement

Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images-Stanbic
Peter Odemwingie.

Former Nigeria striker Peter Odemwingie admits he regrets not being part of his country's Africa Cup of Nations winning team in 2013 as he formally retires from playing football.

The 37-year-old has not played professionally since 2017 but had been hopeful of continuing his career.

Odemwingie played for Nigeria more than 60 times, and helped Super Eagles finish third at the Nations Cup in 2004, 2006 and 2010 but missed their triumph in South Africa. He scored 36 goals in 129 Premier League appearances between 2010 and 2016.

"I think not being part of the Nations Cup-winning squad when I was at my peak is a big regret," he told BBC Sport.

"I don't think there is anyone that will say they are without regrets.

"I did everything I could to be a part of that squad but it never happened, but I had an amazing time with my country.

"A lot of interesting things to be proud of at club level that would be too much to talk about.

"There were few mistakes but you learn as you grow and now I am in a good position to advice other young players."

His final chapters in English football were at Championship clubs Bristol City and Rotherham - before playing out the final days of his professional career at Indonesian side Madura United in 2017.

Born in Uzbekistan, Odemwingie also played in Belgium, France and Russia before spending seven years in English football including stints with Premier League sides West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City and Stoke City.

He marked his Nigeria debut with a goal against Kenya in Lagos in 2002, and was widely regarded as one of the most committed and dedicated players to have represented his country.

As well as the three bronze medals from the Nations Cup he also has a silver from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as Nigeria lost to an Argentina featuring Lionel Messi and Angel di Maria in the match for gold.

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