Johannesburg (AFP) – Burkina Faso star Aristide Bance, one of the most colourful and popular footballers in Africa, has called time on his international career.
He played 79 times for the ‘Stallions’ and scored 24 goals over 16 years while helping the national team of the west African state rise from obscurity to a regular top-10 ranking in the continent.
The forward stood out on the pitch because of his huge physique and fondness for blond dyed hairstyles.
Bance was part of the Burkinabe team that stunned Africa by reaching the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final in South Africa, which they lost 1-0 to Nigeria.
The ‘Stallions’ excelled again at the 2017 edition of the premier African national team tournament, finishing third behind Cameroon and Egypt in Gabon.
Now 35 years old, Bance announced his retirement from international football this week after meeting the president of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore.
The footballer hailed the leader, saying: “I expressed my gratitude to the president for all he does for Burkinabe football.
“I was proud to wear the colours of the national team amid good times and bad. My best moments were being involved in the 2013 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.”
After starting his professional career with Stade Abidjan in neighbouring Ivory Coast, Bance became a globe-trotter, playing in his homeland, other African countries, Europe and Asia.
His current team, 2019/2020 CAF Confederation Cup semi-finalists Horoya of Guinea, is the 22nd he has played for.
His club career also took him to Belgium, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Qatar, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.
When Bance joined the Conakry outfit, Horoya president Soufiane Souare told the forward he was “a footballer who no longer needed an introduction”.
Horoya are the only non-north African club to reach the semi-finals of a CAF club competition this season.
They will face Pyramids FC of Egypt in a single-match semi-final of the second-tier Confederation Cup in Morocco on a date to be announced.
The winners will play a Moroccan side, Hassania Agadir or Renaissance Berkane, in the final for a $1.25 million (1.1 mn euro) first prize.
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