Blackburn's Benjani ends Zimbabwe career

October 13, 2010

Zimbabwe's Blackburn Rovers striker Benjani Mwaruwari has retired from international football to concentrate on his career with the English Premier League club.

The Zimbabwe captain said Sunday's 0-0 draw with Cape Verde in an African Cup of Nations qualifier in Harare was his last appearance for his country.

He scored 29 goals in 44 games having made his international debut in 1998.

Benjani said ''I gave the maximum to the national team. I may not have scored all the goals that the fans would have liked me to score but I've never cheated with the national team jersey.


''I still have some years of playing which I want to dedicate to my club,'' the 32-year-old forward said.

Zimbabwe's caretaker coach Norman Mapeza said on Wednesday he had tried to convince Benjani to stay on.

''I advised him to think a lot about his decision as the team still needs his experience as he is the captain,'' Mapeza said. ''But he said to me he now needed more time to concentrate on his club football as he has played his part for the Warriors.

''It is going to be a great loss to the national team ... we look up to him.''

Benjani signed a one-year deal with Blackburn in August, having previously played for Auxerre, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Manchester City.