Afcon 2017: Salomon Kalou may play on with Ivory Coast until 2018 World Cup

Ivory Coast striker Salomon Kalou will not play at another Africa Cup of Nations following his side’s exit on Tuesday but he may stay on for the chance to play at the 2018 World Cup.

The 31-year-old told BBC Sport: “It’s not the result I wanted in Gabon but after playing in two Nations Cup finals and winning in 2015, this is the end.

“I have not decided whether to retire from international football completely.

“I will go back to my club (Hertha Berlin) and take time to decide.”

Ivory Coast are top of their World Cup qualifying group after two matches and Kalou may be tempted by the prospect of playing at the finals for a third time.

He has also played at six Nations Cups – making his debut at the 2008 tournament in Ghana – and was a losing finalist in 2012 before lifting the trophy three years later.

Kalou has made a total of 89 appearances for the Elephants, scoring 28 goals.

If he retires form internationals completely it would leave only Gervinho, who was ruled out of this year’s Nations Cup with injury, as the sole member of the Ivory Coast’s so-called golden generation still playing for the team.

Other stars like Didier Drogba, Didier Zokora, Kolo and Yaya Toure have all quit the team in the last few years.

But despite the difficulties Ivory Coast have faced in replacing the star names – and failing to win a game in Gabon – Kalou is confident the Elephants are in safe hands.

“I know the future is bright for my country because we have younger players like (Jonathan) Kodjia, (Franck) Kessie and (Wilfried) Zaha,” he said.

Source: Angola Press News Agency