Ivory Coast football: Franck Kessié’s tribute to Max-Alain Gradel

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After a distinguished international career spanning 113 matches, 18 goals, and two Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) appearances for Ivory Coast, Max-Alain Gradel bid farewell to the international football scene during Saturday’s friendly match against Benin, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

Following Gradel’s retirement announcement, tributes poured in from across the Ivorian football community, with heartfelt messages from his teammates, including Franck Kessié.

Taking to social media, Kessié, who currently plays for Al-Ahli FC, expressed his admiration for Gradel in a poignant message.

“Thank you for everything, you gave your MAX! I had the chance to work with you in the selection for 10 years, I learned a lot.

The big brother, the leader, the conqueror, the combative, the determined… Your advice, your openness to others, the respect you give to everyone, we will miss that.

Your laughter during hazing, your ‘attachments,’ your Facebook directs too… My tributes to the two-time AFRICA CHAMPION Max Alain Gradel. Enjoy this international retirement, you deserve it,” wrote Kessié.

Kessié’s words reflect the deep respect and admiration that Gradel commands within the Ivorian football fraternity.

Gradel’s tenure as an international footballer not only left an indelible mark on the pitch but also earned him the admiration of his peers for his leadership, dedication, and camaraderie.

As Ivory Coast bids farewell to one of its footballing icons, Gradel’s legacy as a consummate professional and a source of inspiration for the younger generation remains intact.

His contributions to Ivorian football will be cherished and celebrated for years to come, serving as a testament to his enduring impact on the sport.

While Gradel embarks on the next chapter of his journey, the Ivorian football community stands united in gratitude for his exemplary service and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors beyond the pitch.

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