Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given is retiring
from international football after winning a record 125 caps for
his country, he said on Monday.
"After a lot of thought and consideration, I have made the
most difficult decision to retire from international football,"
the Aston Villa player said on his personal Twitter account.
"It's been a great honour and privilege to play and on
occasion captain the team," added the 36-year-old. "I wish to
thank all the players, managers, staff and most importantly the
most wonderful fans in the world."
The Football Association of Ireland confirmed Given's
decision on its website, explaining that Given had
informed Irish coach Giovanni Trapattoni of his decision.
The Italian paid tribute to the former Newcastle United and
Manchester City player's 16-year international career.
"I understand the difficult decision that Shay had to make,
and appreciate all of his efforts during his international
career," Trapattoni said.
"He is a strong player, with a great character and his love
of playing for his country always shone through.
"It has been a pleasure to work with him during my time with
the team. I wish him the very best in his future."
Given made his international debut under coach Mick McCarthy
in 1996 against Russia and quickly established himself as
Ireland's first-choice keeper.
He played in all his country's games at the 2002 World Cup,
when Ireland progressed from a tough group before losing to
Spain in the first knockout round.
Given's other major tournament appearance was at the 2012
European Championship, part of an Irish side that lost all three
Trapattoni, keen to try out younger players as he looks
towards the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, did not pick
Given for this week's friendly against Serbia.
According to the website, Given has informed the FAI that he
would "happily return to assist with goalkeeping duties" should
there ever be any squad emergency.
Sunderland's Keiren Westwood, who has 10 international
appearances to his name, is widely expected to be Given's
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