Newcastle United midfielder confirms he's putting club before country

Mo Diame and Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.
Mo Diame and Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.
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Newcastle United midfielder Mo Diame has confirmed that he is putting club before country by drawing a line under his international career.

Reports circled this week that Diame was set to retire from international duty with Senegal, and today, speaking to the club website, the 29-year-old summer signing from Premier League side Hull City, confirmed the news.

Mo Diame celebrates scoring his lucky equaliser at Brighton.

Mo Diame celebrates scoring his lucky equaliser at Brighton.

And he hopes that in doing so, it can aide his career at St James's Park.

"It’s not an easy decision, but I hope with all the rest that I will get from now I will be fresh to give my best for Newcastle," said Diame, who won 36 caps for his country, scoring once.

"I know Newcastle is a massive club, and people have big expectations. I know that it is important when you are in a club like this, you have to perform at 100 per cent – even 200 per cent.

"It was important for me to take this decision for the rest of my career."

Diame's last appearance for his country came in the recent Africa Cup of Nations, playing 90 minutes in the Group B encounter with Algeria, and he admits it was no easy decision to make himself unavailable for his nation.

"It’s been a big honour for me. I’m proud to have been an international player for Senegal, and to have made my family proud too,” he said.

"For my father and all my family to have seen me wearing the shirt is something that they will never forget, and I’m very proud.

"It’s been a big decision and a tough one as well, because I really wanted to keep playing for my country. But I need to be honest, and give the opportunity to other players who feel strong and are in better form than me."