London - England captain Steven Gerrard has retired from international football on
Monday after becoming a pillar of the team in 114 appearances, but
making way after the country's disastrous World Cup campaign.
34, led England at the World Cup where they bowed out in the group
stage. 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 agonised over this
since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and
people close to me in the game before coming to this point.
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."
has been hailed as one of the best midfielders to come out of England.
The first of his 21 international goals came in a famous 5-1 victory
over Germany in a World Cup qualifier in September, 2001.
said his desire to maintain his form and fitness for Liverpool,
particularly given the Reds return to this season's Champions League,
also played a factor in his England retirement.
Brendan (Rodgers) has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after
my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take
to the field.
"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," explained 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
He appeared at three World Cup finals as well as three
European Championships. He captained England on 38 occasions, notably at
both 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as Euro 2012.
"I'd like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey," said Gerrard.
also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international
career, from the England managers I've played under to the staff at the
FA and, of course, all the players I've been fortunate to play
"In particular the supporters have been amazing, not
least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing
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.
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
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