Wilfried Zaha set to retire from Ivorian National Team after 20 Caps, Pulls out of AFCON, World cup Qualifiers


By Mukwuzi Joseph

Wilfried Zaha is considering retirement from the Ivory Coast national team at the age of 28.

The Crystals Palace star suffers with homesickness while on international duty and is “reflecting” on whether to continue representing the Elephants, according to manager Patrice Beaumelle.

Zaha made his Ivory Coast debut in January 2017 having switched allegiances from England after two appearances for the Three Lions some years earlier, both of which came in friendlies.

The former Manchester United man was born to Ivorian parents in the city of Abidjan and was also eligible to represent England after his family moved to London when he was aged four.

Zaha helped Ivory Coast reach the quarter-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and he has scored five goals in 20 games at international level.

But Beaumelle admits fans may have seen the last of Zaha in the iconic orange jersey, with the player rejecting his latest call-up.

“He asked not to come because he becomes home sick at each meeting,” said Beaumelle of Zaha. “He wants to reflect on the rest of his international career.”

Zaha will play no part in World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique and Cameroon in mid-November and his participation at the tournament proper in Qatar next year is in doubt.

He will also miss the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations if he calls time on his international career.

Zaha has scored 50 Premier League goals for Palace, including three this season, and news he is contemplating his Ivory Coast future comes as a major blow to the west-African country.

The Eagles academy graduate is impossible to contain when he is at his best and many England fans rue the fact he was not handed a competitive appearance, meaning he was able to switch nations through FIFA.

Zaha made his Three Lions debut under Roy Hodgson in 2012 and later spent four seasons working alongside the manager at Selhurst Park.

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