Turkey captain Burak Yilmaz announced his retirement from international football after missing a late penalty in a 3-1 defeat by Portugal in a World Cup qualifying playoff match on Thursday.
Yilmaz, 36, scored in the second half to give Turkey a glimmer of hope, before squandering an opportunity to level the game at 2-2 by firing his spotkick high over the bar in the 85th minute.
“If I had scored the penalty, it would have been difficult for Portugal. I missed but why? I’m in shock as well,” Yilmaz was quoted as saying by Turkish media.
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“I would like to cut to the point. Today (Thursday) was my last match with the national team. There needs to be a change. Just as I had taken the lead back then, now I need to pass it on to my team mates and support them externally.
“It is a final decision stripped of emotions. One that is taken rationally. This change needs to happen,” he added.
Yilmaz scored 31 goals in 77 international appearances for Turkey and represented the side at the Euro 2016 and 2020. He joined Ligue 1 side Lille in August 2020, which also confirmed his retirement from international football on social media.