Moukandjo: Nations Cup winning captain retires from Cameroon duty

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BBC | Cameroon captain Benjamin Moukandjo announced his retirement from international football at the age of 29, following comments from new head coach Clarence Seedorf.

China-based Moukandjo captained the Indomitable Lions to their fifth continental title at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.

He was dropped from Seedorf’s first squad for the match against Comoros earlier this month, with Seedorf saying “good young players don’t compete in China or in Asia.”

Moukandjo said those remarks prompted his decision to retire from Cameroon duty.

“I found the recent comments by Mr Clarence Seedorf very brash and unfair. Unfair because despite being the team captain, I never received a call from the coach to inform me about his decision,” Moukandjo said in a press release on Saturday night.

As well as Moukandjo, who plays for Beijing Renhe, striker Christian Bassogog from China’s Henan Jianye was also dropped from Seedorf’s first squad for the match which ended 1-1.

Moukandjo said he disagreed with Seedorf’s comments that the Chinese league is not competitive enough.

“My real level and that of my other team-mates should’ve been assessed on the pitch before the coach made his decision to sideline any player.

“I am proud of the time I spent with the Indomitable Lions and I would like to thank all my team-mates who supported and trusted in me. I am convinced in all humility that I have accomplished my mission, living up to the expectations of my country.

“I wish the team good luck for the next Africa Cup of Nations and I hope they will be able to win it for the honour of Cameroon,” Moukandjo added.

The former Monaco and Lorient striker played 55 games for Cameroon, scoring eight times.

His decision to retire comes despite former Dutch star Seedorf suggesting earlier this month that the door was not closed on China and Asia based players.

“The team is open to everyone, but if the young players make a choice of moving to China, they’re not going to be considered in the first three choices. For the players already in the Chinese league it’s a different story,” Seedorf told reporters.