Following a disappointing run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, England captain Steven Gerrard said that he would take his time to decide on his international future. On Monday, Gerrard announced his retirement from the team.
Gerrard will continue to play on the club level, but he will no longer represent the Three Lions on the international soccer scene. He finishes his career as the third most capped player in England history behind Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115).
Gerrard issued a lengthy statement on his decision to retire from the international team.
“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.”
All good careers must come to an end, and Gerrard gave every young football player on the planet a great person to look up to.
Not only was Gerrard an outstanding player on the pitch, he was a great representative for his country and a true professional.
Now, Gerrard will focus on bringing another title back to Anfield as Liverpool prepares for their 2014 campaign.