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Max-Alain Gradel retires from international football after glittering career with Cote d’Ivoire

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Cote d’Ivoire winger Max-Alain Gradel has announced his retirement from international football just a month after winning the Africa Cup of Nations title. 

The 36-year-old made his debut for Cote d’Ivoire on March 11, 2011, after coming on as a substitute in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin.

This match ended in a 6-2 win to the Elephants, in which Gradel came on in the 54th minute to mark his first international bow.

Gradel played his final match for the Elephants on Saturday, March 23, 2024, where he scored the opening goal in a 2-2 draw against Benin in an international friendly match.

The Gaziantep FK player scored 17 goals in 112 matches for the Elephants. Besides, he won AFCON trophies in 2015 in Equatorial Guinea and the 2023 edition in his home country.

The Elephants winger started his club career with Championnet Sport in 2000 before moving to Lewisham College in the United Kingdom in 2004. He has been with three English sides, namely Leicester City, Bournemouth, and Leeds United.

Gradel has also featured in France before where he played for St. Etienne, Toulouse, and in Turkey with Sivasspor alongside Gazientep where he currently plies his trade with.

The experienced winger has featured for Cote d’Ivoire in 7 AFCON tournaments in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2023.

Also, he was part of the Ivorian team that played in his country’s last appearance in the World Cup in 2014, held in Brazil.

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