Steven Gerrard, a mainstay for England’s national soccer team since 2000 and the team’s captain since 2012, announced his retirement from international soccer on Monday through a statement released on the Football Association’s Web site.
“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,” said Gerrard, who scored 21 goals in 114 career appearances for England. “However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward.”
Gerrard played in three World Cups and three European Championships for England. Three Lions Coach Roy Hodgson wanted Gerrard to stick around for Euro 2016 qualifying, but the 34-year-old felt it was time to move on and give someone else a chance. Who that will be remains a mystery, as “there is a chronic shortage of players of his ilk,” the Telegraph reports.
“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,” Hodgson said, per the FA. “I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.”
As captain, Gerrard failed to lead England out of the group stage at this year’s World Cup.
Gerrard, 34, will continue to play for Liverpool of the English Premier League.