World Cup failure may force Musa, Balogun to quit Eagles
The Super Eagles’ failure to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup may force trio Ahmed Musa, Odion Ighalo and Leon Balogun into early retirement, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
The players all featured in the Eagles’ lacklustre 1-1 draw with the Black Stars at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday.
While Balogun, 33, played the entire duration of the game, Ighalo and Musa came on as late substitutes in the draw that cost the Eagles a place at the Qatar 2022 World Cup
Ighalo, 32, who came out of retirement last November, is unlikely to return to the team, bearing in mind he only saw 12 minutes of action in the play-off tie when he replaced Emmanuel Dennis in the second half.
Musa, 29, stated earlier that he intended to play at least one more World Cup before calling time with the national team, but he might not be able to achieve that any longer, knowing that he would be 33 at the next edition and perhaps close to calling it quits with football.
“He (Musa) has agreed that after the World Cup he’s going to retire,” Eguavoen told PUNCH Sports Extra in Garoua in February.
“We will still accord him that respect and honour because he’s got a major role to play in the team.
“Musa has got some leadership qualities, whether we like it or not, but he can always give us some good 45-60 minutes when it becomes really necessary, that is why we try to see how we can help him honourably leave the scene hopefully after the World Cup.”
Balogun, who shone through the qualification campaign, especially the two play-off games against Ghana, may also decide to retire from international football.