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Namibian football icon Ananias Gebhardt bids farewell to international arena

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Ananias Gebhardt, the stalwart defender of the Namibian national team, has officially announced his retirement from international duty, drawing the curtains on a remarkable career with the Brave Warriors. The decision comes as a poignant moment for the football fraternity, arriving just weeks before the resumption of qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Gebhardt’s illustrious journey in the Namibian jersey spans over a decade, with the defender earning a total of 105 caps since his debut in July 2011.

Throughout his 13 years of service, Gebhardt has been a linchpin of the national team, playing a pivotal role in several historic achievements, including Namibia’s triumph in the COSAFA Cup of 2015 and their appearances in the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments of 2019 and 2024.

Reflecting on his decision, Gebhardt expressed his pride in being part of a generation of players who have left an indelible mark on Namibian football. “My first call was in July 2011, and the journey since then has been nothing short of incredible,” he remarked.

Citing concerns about his physical well-being, particularly following a hamstring injury ahead of the 2024 AFCON, Gebhardt acknowledged that it was time to heed the signals from his body and step away from international duty.

While bidding adieu to the Brave Warriors, Gebhardt remains committed to his footballing journey at the club level, continuing to ply his trade for Baroka FC in South Africa.

With a desire to prioritize his health while staying actively involved in the sport, Gebhardt’s decision resonates with his unwavering dedication to football.

The Namibian football community has poured out messages of gratitude and admiration for Gebhardt’s contributions, lauding his professionalism, discipline, and unwavering commitment to both club and country.

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Coach Collin Benjamin conveyed his appreciation, hailing Gebhardt’s 13-year tenure as a testament to his resilience and dedication.

As Gebhardt’s retirement marks the end of an era for the Brave Warriors, his legacy as a formidable and resilient defender will endure, serving as an inspiration for future generations of Namibian footballers.

Amidst the farewell, Gebhardt’s imprint on the sport remains etched in the annals of Namibian football history, a testament to his enduring impact on the beautiful game.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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