Long-serving national team captain Victor Wanyama calls it a day on his international career
Harambee Stars’ long-serving Captain Victor Mugubi Wanyama has officially retired from the national team after 64 appearances in over 10 years.
The CF Montreal midfielder who has played for four European clubs, scored seven goals for Harambee Stars.
Wanyama made his debut for the Kenyan national team in May 2007 aged just 15 in a friendly against Nigeria.
He also played in all six of Kenya’s 2010 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers. He became the captain of his national team in 2013 and represented the national team at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
In an official statement posted through his Twitter handle,Wanyama, 30, stated that it was not an easy decision but it had to be made eventually.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur powerhouse whose last assignment for Harambee Stars was in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers against Togo, is said to have been offended by the cold treatment by the Football Kenya Federation who have not involved him in any Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers with immediate former national team Coach Jacob “Ghost” Mulee not even calling him up for friendlies.
“Growing up, it was always my dream to get the chance to represent my country. With a great deal of pride, I can say that I have been fortunate to live my dream!
“From making my debut against Nigeria to captaining the team at the African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt, these past 14 years have gone beyond what I ever thought possible.
We have shared great moments together and I am proud to have been your captain and leader.
“But all good things must come to an end eventually; and after long consideration, I have made the really difficult decision to retire from international football.
The time has come to hand over the team to the next generation so that they too can make their mark and help our country reach even greater heights.
“I hope to return one day to help the federation off the field but until then, I will still be Harambee Stars’ biggest supporter and I will be cheering you guys on from the sidelines. Thanks for all the support! ” read his statement.
Wanyama who at one point played alongside his brother McDonald Mariga in the national team was known for his no-nonsense leadership skills in the field. However, a section of football fans were not happy with some of his below par performances in the national colours despite being amongst the most dependable players.
The armband is now with Al Duhail SC striker Michael Olunga who is expected to lead the national team to stardom.