England and Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football after serving the nation for 14 years at the top level.
Steven Gerrard made his international debut in a match against Ukraine in 2000 and since then he has made 114 appearances for the Three Lions on international stage. He is currently the third most capped player for his nation, behind Peter Shilton and David Beckham, and has scored 21 goals during this period from the midfield.
Despite having an illustrious career for Liverpool, there is a feeling that Gerrard underachieved with England, as did every player which was part of the Golden generation that came through. His career also ends on a disappointing note as England were knocked out in the group stage in Brazil.
Steven Gerrard announced his retirement today and has thanked the fans and FA for their support throughout his career. He will now take up the role of being a FA ambassador and insisted that this decision is also influenced by the fact that it will help him in prolonging his career with Liverpool.
“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.
“However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with the FA and helping out in any way I can going forward.
“I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey. 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 fulfil my childhood dream.
“He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard.
“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 and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.
“Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.
“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.” – Steven Gerrard said.
Roy Hodgson has congratulated Gerrard on a fantastic career and thanked him for his service to the team.
“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.
“I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.
“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often.” – The England manager said.