Kolo Toure retires from international football

Liverpool defender Kolo Toure has retired from international football a week after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.

The veteran defender is bringing to an end his 15-year international career after playing in Ivory Coast’s 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads as well as seven Africa Cup of Nations.

Toure played at the heart of the defence in all six games as the Ivory Coast reached the Africa Cup of Nations final, which they won following an exciting 9-8 penalty shoot-out against Ghana.

The 33-year-old, who won more than 110 international caps since making his debut in 2000, said: “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.”

Toure will be hoping to concentrate on his playing career with Liverpool where he has struggled to hold down a place in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up.