Steven Gerrard hangs up England boots to focus on Liverpool
Midfielder won 114 caps for his country after making his debut in 2000, but now feels it is time to concentrate on club duty
England captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international soccer, the Football Association said yesterday.
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," he told the FA's website.
Gerrard's appearance at the World Cup in Brazil last month was the sixth time he had represented England at a major tournament, but it ended in failure as Roy Hodgson's side went out at the group stage.
Gerrard appeared to be particularly affected by the disappointment - never more so than after the 2-1 defeat by Uruguay, when his misjudged header allowed Luis Suarez to score the late winner.
The 34-year-old said he was retiring from international matches 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," Gerrard said.
"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 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.
"This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I've had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil."
Gerrard captained England 38 times, scoring 21 goals.