LONDON: England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international soccer, said the Football Association (FA) on Monday.
The Liverpool midfielder won 114 caps for his country after making his debut in a 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley in 2000.
“I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again,” said Gerrard on the FA’s website.
The 34-year-old said he was retiring from internationals in part to ensure he can keep playing at a high level for Liverpool.
“I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey,” said Gerrard.
“I’d also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I’ve played under to the staff at the FA and, of course, all the players I’ve been fortunate to play alongside.
“In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil, when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results. I’d especially like to thank [national coach] Roy Hodgson, firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfill my childhood dream.
“To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool, I believe this is the right decision, and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.”
Meanwhile, Hodgson told the FA, “While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Gerrard’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.
“I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it. The FA said Gerrard will continue his strong relationship with the governing body in a ‘high profile ambassadorial role’.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.
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