Burkina Faso midfielder Charles Kabore will retire from international duty after the ongoing Nations Cup.
The 28-year-old has been influential as the Stallions have reached the final four at the two-yearly continental showpiece, playing every minute of their campaign en route to Wednesday’s showdown with Egypt in Libreville.
The experienced campaigner helped the West Africans to top Group A after draws with Gabon and Cameroon, and a 2-1 victory over Guinea-Bissau, while they followed that up with a 2-0 triumph over Tunisia in the first quarter-final on Saturday.
However, L’Equipe has reported that the FC Krasnodar man has revealed his intention to step down from international duty after the ongoing tournament as he looks to focus his efforts on his club career.
“But in two years, I hope to be in the country to support my team,” he told the French sports daily. “I’ve not experienced that since my youth.”
The news will come as a bitter blow for the Stallions, particularly considering that, at 28, Kabore ought to still have several peak years ahead of him.
Since making his debut in 2006, the Bobo-Dioulasso-born campaigner has established himself as one of the nation’s key men – and undisputedly the side’s heartbeat on the pitch.
He is currently competing in his fifth Afcon, and was one of the side’s key figures – starting five matches – en route to the Nations Cup final in 2013.
The former Etoile Filante Ouagadougou man played every minute as Burkina Faso crashed out in the opening round of the last Nations Cup, and also featured for the Stallions in the 2010 and 2012 showpieces.
He joined FC Krasnodar from rivals Kuban Krasnodar – initially on loan – in 2015, having previously represented Libourne-Saint-Seurin, and Olympique de Marseille for five years.
Without Kabore, the likes of Blati Toure of Omonia Nicosia or Bakary ‘Bouba’ Sare of Moreirense appear to be the likely candidates to take residency in the heart of the park for the Burkinabe.
By Ed Dove/ Kwesesports.com
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