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Page last updated at 13:18 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Kanoute retires after Mali exit

Frederic Kanoute
Kanoute scored twice for Mali at the Nations Cup in Angola

Frederic Kanoute has announced his retirement from international football following Mali's elimination from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Sevilla striker scored 23 goals in 38 appearances since opting to play for the Eagles over France in 2004.

Mali bowed out of the Nations Cup on Monday, despite beating Malawi 3-1 and scoring seven goals in total - including two from Kanoute.

"I can't find the words to describe how upset I am," Kanoute said.

"It really hurts me. After we were knocked out in 2008 we really wanted to do well here.

"For my last appearance in this competition I wanted to go as far as possible.

"That's life. I'm sorry I couldn't succeed in helping my team go further at the Nations Cup, which now marks my retirement," added the 2007 Caf African Footballer of the Year.

The French-born forward scored in Mali's remarkable comeback in the 4-4 opening game draw against hosts Angola.

But he was dropped to the bench for the Eagles' 1-0 loss to Algeria and failed to make an impact from the bench.

He scored his second of the tournament in Mali's 3-1 victory over the Flames - a win that would be rendered meaningless under the organisers' head-to-head rules that would see Algeria advance in their place.

Kanoute arrived back in Spain on Wednesday and resumed training with Sevilla on Thursday.

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see also
Mali 3-1 Malawi
18 Jan 10 |  African
Keshi in job hunt after Mali exit
19 Jan 10 |  African
Algeria admit to playing for draw
19 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 0-0 Algeria
18 Jan 10 |  African
Mali 0-1 Algeria
14 Jan 10 |  African
Malawi 3-0 Algeria
11 Jan 10 |  African
Angola 4-4 Mali
10 Jan 10 |  African

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