Newcastle United midfielder Mohammed Diame has announced his retirement from International football at the tender age of 29.
French born Diame was called up for the Senegal national for the first time in 2011 as his father is from Dakar meaning Diame qualified to play for the Senegalese national side.
Diame was also part of the Senegal Olympic squad in London 2012 where they were in the same group as Great Britain and qualified for the quarter-finals after finishing second in the group stage behind the Brits.
However, the last eight was as far as it went for Diame and Co after losing an entertaining game against Mexico 4-2 after extra time.
The 29-year-old scored his only goal for the Les Lions de la Teranga in a 2-0 win over Niger in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match.
He retires after having played thirty-one games for Senegal in a six-year international career, at 29, it may come as a shock but the good news for Newcastle fans is that in his statement he said he wanted to focus on helping Newcastle win the league and gain promotion back to the Premier League.
After joining the Magpies from Hull City in the summer, he has gone on to make 33 appearances this season scoring six times, not a bad return had you checked the odds at best betting sites for a strong goal scoring season from Diame.
However, the former Wigan Athletic, West Ham and Hull City man has come under criticism recently for less than impressive performances.
Diame, was subbed off after an hour at the weekend in the 3-1 loss to Fulham with a number of fans labelling him the new Sissoko.
Form may have eluded Diame in recent weeks however, he was the scorer of that incredibly lucky goal against Brighton where the ball spewed of his boot and swept over the keeper.
Thirty-three appearances this season has been proof enough that Benitez rates him highly and retiring from international football can only be a good thing for Newcastle.
Diame has played over 350 career games with most of those being played in England (and mainly in the Premier League), he may be getting a hard time from fans right now, but his know how in the run-in could prove pivotal in the race for the title.
29 is a relatively young age for retirement but the belief must be that Senegal’s loss can only be Newcastle’s gain.
Roll on Birmingham at the weekend, three points are a must and Diame will be under the spotlight.