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England captain Steven Gerrard retires from internationals to focus on club career with Liverpool

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England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football.

Gerrard skippered England at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, where the national side crashed out in the group stages after picking up only a single point. 

The Liverpool stalwart said, "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."

"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."

England manager Roy 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."

With Liverpool back in the Champions League, it was widely expected that he would retire from England after the World Cup, but the player wanted to take some time to make the decision.

He has spent his entire career at Liverpool, and has won every trophy bar the Premier League, which he came close to winning last season as the Merseyside club finished second.

Gerrard's England career finished as the third most capped England player, behing David Beckham and Peter Shilton, as well as scoring 21 goals.

He made his tournament debut at Euro 2000, missed the 2002 World Cup through injury, but played two more Euros, in 2004 and 2012, and three more World Cups, in 2006, 2010, and this summer's tournament in Brazil.

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