After 14 years and 114 caps, Steven Gerrard retires from England duty
England captain Steven Gerrard, who made 114 appearances for the Three Lions during his 14-year international career, announced his retirement from international football on Monday
Liverpool: England captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international football on Monday after making 114 appearances for his country.
Gerrard, who made his debut under Kevin Keegan in 2000 ahead of that summer's European Championships, won 114 caps for England during his 14 years international career, with his final game coming against Costa Rica.
Gerrard played through six different England bosses - beginning with Kevin Keegan and then Peter Taylor (caretaker), Sven Goran-Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson - during which time he has bagged 21 goals.
Twice named England Player of the Year (2007 and 2012), he was also named in UEFA's Team of the Torunament at the European Championships in 2012.
After 14 years and 114 caps, Steven Gerrard retires from England duty. File Pic/Getty Images
His first international goal came during the stunning 5-1 win over Germany in Munich in 2001. It was a result which played a major part in securing qualification for the 2002 World Cup, but Gerrard missed out on that tournament through injury.
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, who made Gerrard his full-time captain in 2012, paid tribute to his outgoing skipper, 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.
"I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.
"We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the (Euro 2016) qualification campaign with a youthful group of players," he said.
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand, whose injury saw Gerrard replace him as captain for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, was also full of praise, tweeting: "Gerrard has been an incredible player. Surpassing 100 caps is some achievement."
Midfielder Frank Lampard, who has 106 England caps to his name, could well be the next member of the country's so-called 'Golden Generation' to call time on his international career. The ex-Chelsea midfielder, now 36, is expected to announce his decision in coming weeks.