Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu

Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has retired from international football after a three-year absence.

The Hellas Verona man, 30, won 78 caps for Ghana after making his senior debut in 2008.

He became a mainstay in the Black Stars, after excelling at the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup in Egypt. Agyemang-Badu scored the winning penalty as Ghana beat Brazil to become the first African country to win the youth competition.

He was a squad member at two World Cups and five Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments, earning two silver medals.

But, he last featured for Black Stars at 2017 Afcon in Gabon. He captained the team in third-place playoff defeat against Burkina Faso.

”Although it’s been a while I’ve been out of the national team, I’m here today to say the nation has been very excellent to me throughout my career with the national team,”  he said in a statement.

”On this day after talking to my family and loved ones, I think it’s time to officially retired from the national team.

”I’ve tried several times to win the African Cup of Nations [Afcon] for the nation after winning U-20 AFCON and World Cup.

“We came close twice, but it’s a bit disappointing that we couldn’t win it.

”I, however, believe my colleagues who are now in the national team will do that for us in the coming years.”

“Thank you and God bless us all,” he added.

The former Asante Kotoko player scored 11 goals for Ghana.