Khama Billiat has retired from the Zimbabwe national team and wrote his supporters and the people of Zimbabwe a ‘love note’ to say his goodbyes.
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The 31-year-old Kaizer Chiefs star was part of the Warriors team who played Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia in the final round of World Cup qualifiers last week.
But after 45 games and 13 goals he has decided it is time to give the next generation a chance to represent his country.
“It was all a dream. When I was young, I always dreamt of representing the country, playing for the national team,” Billiat said in a statement on Monday. “The dream which seemed far-fetched for a young Khama in Mufakose came when I least expected it.
“The first day I donned the Warriors badge, I vowed to enjoy myself and always lift the country’s spirits. Scoring a goal at the Africa Cup of Nations finals is one moment I still relive in my mind even up to date.
“It is one of the special moments I have experienced wearing the coveted yellow jersey. The feeling of scoring in a packed stadium for your nation is inexplicable
“I have met so many teammates, coached at the national team and I appreciate every relationship I have built along the way. By playing for the Warriors, I have improved immensely as a player [and] it is an opportunity I will forever cherish.
“However, every story no matter how beautiful has an ending. This is probably the heaviest decision I have ever had to take in my life, but it is a decision I make with a patriotic heart.
“Like those who had to pave the way for our generation of Warriors stars to emerge, I have decided to retire from international football. I believe it is now time for me to pave way for new talent to blossom and serve the country in the same way that I did, or even better.
“I will forever be indebted to those who took a chance on me and moulded me into the international player I grew to become. Thank you, Zimbabwe for supporting me and my teammates, for showing love with each outing. God bless you.”