Senegal coach issues call for Newcastle midfielder Mo Diame to reverse international retirement

Rafa Benitez & Mo Diame
Rafa Benitez & Mo Diame

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse has revealed his shock at the international retirement of Newcastle United's Mo Diame.

And the former Birmingham and Portsmouth midfielder has issued a call for the Magpies man to reverse his decision.

Diame revealed earlier this month that he will no longer be available for selection on the international stage, having been mostly an unused sub in Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations campaign at the start of 2017.

Putting club before country Diame said: "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

"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."

Mo Diame in action for NUFC against Aston Villa earlier this year.

Mo Diame in action for NUFC against Aston Villa earlier this year.

But at 29, it was an early call, according to coach Cisse.

He has expressed his surprise at Diame's call, believing the 36-capped international could still cut it for the national team.

In fact, he issued a plea to get the former Hull City and West Ham United man back on board.

Cisse said: "I'm completely surprised because everybody knows I have a good relationship with Diame.

"Clearly, it's a personal decision but one I disagree with because he's still young – a good player and his country needs him.

"He could still give so much as he had a lot of years left in him.

"But he's taken his decision and I have to respect that."

For all the latest NUFC news and views, as well as exclusive video content, check out our dedicated Newcastle United Facebook page by clicking this link.