Kolo Toure retires from international football


Kolo Toure is going out a champion.

After helping lead Ivory Coast to the Africa Cup of Nations title, one of the country’s most reliable players has announced his retirement from international football.

[ RECAP: Ivory Coast crowned champs of Africa ]

Toure, who is 33, is the second-most capped player in Ivory Coast history, racking up 118 appearances over a 15 year career.

Not known for his offensive skills, the Liverpool defender converted his penalty kick in the AFCON finals, where Ivory Coast defeated Ghana 9-8 in the shootout.

[ WATCH: Didier Drogba celebrates AFCON victory from his couch ]

Speaking to local media in Ivory Coast, Toure confirmed speculation that he would no longer suit up for Les Elephants.

It is with great emotion that I inform you that it is time to say goodbye.

My goal was to win the Africa Cup of Nations and I must admit that it was a very difficult decision to make.

I do love my country and especially love football, but at some point, there comes a time to stop.”

Kolo Toure, often outshone by his younger brother Yaya Toure, has represented Ivory Coast in three World Cups and seven Africa Cup of Nations, losing twice in the finals before lifting the trophy earlier this month.

The veteran defender has also brought pride to his home country as a staple in the Premier League, representing Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool over the past 13 seasons.