• Thursday, November 27, 2014

England captain quits int’l football

BBC Online
England captain Steven Gerrard
England captain Steven Gerrard

England captain Steven Gerrard has retired from international football after winning 114 caps.

Gerrard, 34, won his first cap in a 2-0 win over Ukraine in 2000 and played for the last time at the 2014 World Cup in a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica.

"I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country. It's a sad day for me," the Liverpool midfielder said.

Gerrard will now assume a "high profile" ambassadorial role with the Football Association.

The England midfielder scored 21 times and represented his country at six major tournaments.

"It was a very difficult decision to make. It's something I have been contemplating for a long time, not just since the end of the World Cup," the Liverpool skipper said.

"I've had to take an awful lot of advice from people who are close to me - players that I still play with, ex-players who I played with a long time ago, managers who I played for years ago.

"It's been a really tough decision, certainly one of the toughest since I turned professional at 18."

Gerrard will continue his club career with Liverpool, with whom he made his debut in 1998 against Blackburn Rovers.

He has played at Anfield his entire career - winning the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.

"To ask my body now, the way it is and what it has been through to play international and domestic football was too much of an ask," Gerrard said.

"I've made my decision on my age, on my body and being fair to Liverpool, especially with having the Champions League back - that was a huge factor."

Gerrard's first tournament with England came under Kevin Keegan, when he was part of the squad for Euro 2000 and he went on to play in two more European Championships, in 2004 and 2012.

After missing the 2002 World Cup through injury, he played in three others, his first in Germany 2006, then as captain for both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty said: "Gerrard said he was 'broken' by England's exit from the World Cup after only two games and he was never going to be involved in Euro 2016.

"He had, by his own standards, a disappointing campaign in Brazil and it was clear that the 34-year-old's influence at this level was wavering."

Published: 8:49 pm Monday, July 21, 2014

Last modified: 10:35 pm Monday, July 21, 2014

TAGS: England captain Steven Gerrard

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