Steven Gerrard: England Captain Quits International Football
England captain Steven Gerrard has retired from international football after winning 114 caps.Gerrard, 34, won his first cap in a 2-0 win over Ukraine in 2000 and made his last England appearance in a 0-0 draw with Costa Rica at the 2014 World Cup.
The Liverpool midfielder said: “I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country. It’s a sad day for me.”
Gerrard will now take on a “high profile” ambassadorial role with the Football Association.
He retires from international duty having scored 21 goals and played at six major tournaments. He ranks third on England’s most-capped player list behind only Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115).
Chief football writer Phil McNulty analysis
|“It is the right decision for England, Liverpool and most importantly for a player who had earned the right to choose his own time of departure. He may not have touched the same heights for country as he did for club, but he still made a fine contribution to several eras for England.”|
Gerrard skippered England at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, however it was to end in disappointment for Roy Hodgson’s team after they exited the tournament bottom of the group and without a victory.
“It was a very difficult decision to make,” said Gerrard. “It’s something I have been contemplating for a long time, not just since the end of the World Cup.
“I’ve had to take an awful lot of advice from people who are close to me – players that I still play with, ex-players who I played with a long time ago, managers who I played for years ago.
“It’s been a really tough decision, certainly one of the toughest since I turned professional at 18.”
England manager Hodgson said: “While I’m disappointed, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.”
Gerrard will continue his club career with Liverpool, for whom he made his debut in 1998 against Blackburn Rovers.
He has spent his entire career at Anfield – winning the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
England’s longest-serving captains
|1= Bobby Moore||90 captaincies (won 57)|
|1= Billy Wright||90 (49)|
|3 Bryan Robson||65 (32)|
|4 David Beckham||59 (35)|
|5 Steven Gerrard||38 (20)|
|6 Alan Shearer||34 (16)|
|6= John Terry||34 (22)|
|8 Kevin Keegan||31 (17)|
|9 Emlyn Hughes||23 (11)|
|10 Bob Crompton||22 (12)|
|10= Johnny Haynes||22 (12)|
“To ask my body now, the way it is and what it has been through, to play international and domestic football was too much of an ask,” he added.
“I’ve made my decision on my age, on my body and being fair to Liverpool, especially with having the Champions League back – that was a huge factor.”
Gerrard’s first tournament as an England player was Euro 2000, and he went on to play in two more European Championships, in 2004 and 2012.
After missing the 2002 World Cup through injury, he played in three others, his first in Germany 2006, then as captain for both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014.
Former England striker and BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker led the tributes to the midfielder, tweeting: “Steven Gerrard has retired from international football. He’s been a wonderful servant to his country. A great player who always gave all.”
Ex-England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who played alongside Gerrard, tweeted: “Good decision by Steven Gerrard, 114 caps – great servant for England.”
BBC Sport’s chief football writer Phil McNulty said: “Gerrard said he was ‘broken’ by England’s exit from the World Cup after only two games and he was never going to be involved in Euro 2016.
“He had, by his own standards, a disappointing campaign in Brazil and it was clear his influence at this level was wavering.”