Kidiaba to end DR Congo career after 2015 Nations Cup

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
DR Congo goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba
DR Congo goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba

Democratic Republic of Congo goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba has revealed he will retire from international duty after the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

But the 38-year-old TP Mazembe player who made his debut in 2002 and has gone on to win 52 caps wants to leave on a high.

The veteran, who played at the 2013 tournament in South Africa, believes the Leopards must aim for the latter stages of Africa's top competition. DR Congo are drawn in Group B alongside Tunisia, Zambia and Cape Verde.

"The year 2015 is when I have to end my international career with DR Congo and it's an opportunity not to be missed," Kidiaba told TP Mazembe's official websiteexternal-link.

"As captain of the national team, I want to help my country reach a respectable spot beyond our group in Equatorial Guinea."

Despite failing to go beyond the group stage in 2004 and 2013, Kidiaba insists reaching the last eight must be a target for Florent Ibengé's side this term.

"There is no small country in our group but we need to aim higher as a team." he added.

"We must take Cape Verde seriously because they are organised and have proved to everyone that they must be respected.

"As former champions Tunisia are very formidable but we have also shown during the qualifiers that we cannot be underestimated.

"The game that TP Mazembe fans are looking forward to is the opening game against Zambia because Rainford Kalaba and Given Singuluma are well known in Lubumbashi and throughout the country."

Kidiaba, famed for the 'bum shuffle' goal celebration - by bouncing around his penalty area - on his backside, helped DR Congo side TP Mazembe achieve back to back African Champions League titles in 2009 and 2010.

The goalkeeper who joined Mazembe in 2002 from AS Saint-Luc attained global recognition at the 2009 and 2010 Fifa Club World Cups in the UAE with his unique goal celebration.

With his heroics between the sticks in 2010, Mazembe became the first African team to reach the Club World Cup final but lost to Italian giants Inter Milan.

Kidiaba has two Caf Super Cup titles and won seven national league titles with Mazembe in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

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