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Steven Gerrard Announces International Retirement

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Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football after winning his 114th cap during the 2014 World Cup.

Richard Heathcote

Today Steven Gerrard announced that he would be hanging ups his international boots to focus on the upcoming domestic season with Liverpool. After winning 114 caps and captaining the national side, it's finally time to move on from an all-time England great.

Gerrard won his first cap in a 2-0 win over the Ukraine in 2000, and his last cap against Costa Rica in a 0-0 draw at the 2014 World Cup. Gerrard is a very proud, committed man, and this decision could not have been easy. In a statement he said:

"I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country. It's a sad day for me.

It was a very difficult decision to make. 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."

It doesn't come as a surprise that the 34 year old is calling time on his England career. With Liverpool back in the Champions League this year, Gerrard will be playing more games that he has done for a long time. England start their European Championship qualification in September, and now must quickly move on from this disappointing news.

England manager Roy Hodgson accepted the decision, but was very disappointed to be losing his captain:

"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."

Steven will leave England as the third most capped player of all time and the second most capped outfield players after David Beckham (115). He scored 3 goals in 12 World Cup matches for England and captained his side 38 times. In 114 games for England, Gerrard scored 21 times and make vital contributions to get us to and keep us in major tournaments.

It's always disappointment when a great player comes to the end of his International career, but this will give the likes of Henderson, Wilshere and Barkley a chance to stake their claim to a place in the side ahead of the 2016 tournament.