african nations cup

Kanoute announces international retirement after exit

January 21, 2010

Sevilla striker Fredi Kanoute has retired from international football following Mali's exit from the African Nations Cup on Monday.

Fredi Kanoute
GettyImagesKanoute was named African Footballer of the Year in 2007

Kanoute, who scored 23 goals in 38 appearances since his debut in 2004, confirmed his decision after Mali beat Malawi 3-1 - a victory that was meaningless as the Eagles bowed out of the competition.

"That's life," he told the Angolan Angop news agency. "I'm sorry I couldn't succeed in helping my team go further at the Nations Cup, which now marks my retirement.

"I can't find the words to describe how upset I am - it really hurts me. After we were knocked out in 2008, we really wanted to do well here.

"For my last appearance in this competition I wanted to go as far as possible. We will now take stock of our team."

The 32-year-old scored twice in Angola - in the 4-4 draw against the hosts in the opening game and in the win over the Flames - and was already back in Spain with his club late on Wednesday and resumed training with his club on Thursday.