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Soccer-Newcastle release long-serving striker Ameobi

Reuters

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) - Newcastle United have released long-serving striker Shola Ameobi, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The 32-year-old made his Newcastle debut in 2000 and made 397 appearances, scoring 79 goals including one in a Champions League match at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium in 2002.

"Shola Ameobi has been an incredible servant to Newcastle United," manager Alan Pardew told the club website.

"Such loyalty and commitment in the modern game is rare and Shola was not just a great player on the pitch but a key figure off it too.

"He is a leader of men, a great role model for our younger players."

Ameobi, who played for England at Under-21 level, has played five times for Nigeria and has been included in the African country's provisional squad for next month's World Cup in Brazil.

French striker Loic Remy will return to his parent club Queen's Park Rangers after a season on loan at Newcastle.

(Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Mitch Phillips)

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