Steven Gerrard retires from England duty
England captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international football on Monday after making 114 appearances for his country.
Gerrard, 34, led the national team at the World Cup where England bowed out in the group stage and the Liverpool midfielder said he had “agonised” over the decision since returning from Brazil.
"This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career," Gerrard told the Football Association’s FATV.
"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."
"To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club I believe this is the right decision, and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision," he added.
Gerrard, who made his international debut against Ukraine in 2000, trails just Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115) on England’s all-time caps list.
He appeared at three World Cup finals as well as three European championships and scored 21 goals for the Three Lions. He captained England in Brazil and at Euro 2012.
England coach Roy Hodgson paid tribute to Gerrard, saying: “While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.”
From the horse's mouth
Gerrard talks about his retirement in a video here.
Five facts on the man
1. Gerrard has played 114 times for England since 2000 and after being briefly captain in 2008 became full time team leader in 2010. He’s captained England 38 times, winning 20 of those games.
2. He scored the first of his 21 England goals in a famous 5-1 win over Germany in a World Cup qualifier in September 2001.
3. He is considered one of the best midfielders to be produced by England. He has spent all of his club career at Liverpool, making 669 league, FA Cup, League Cup and European competition appearances for the side and scoring 173 goals.
4. Gerrard has a cousin, Anthony Gerrard, who plays for Huddersfield Town in the English league. Another cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was killed in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster at the age of 10.
Gerrard’s 2006 autobiography ends with the words "I play for Jon-Paul".
5. Gerrard appeared in court in 2009 accused of affray after a fight outside a bar. He pleaded not guilty and was cleared. On the screen, he appeared in a 2011 movie, Will, about an 11-year-old boy and a Bosnian footballer who trek to Istanbul to see Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final.