Gerrard focuses on Reds after England retirement
ENGLAND captain Steven Gerrard has announced his international retirement after making 114 appearances in a career spanning 14 years.
The 34-year-old, who led the national side in this summer's World Cup which saw them exit the tournament after just two matches, said he had "agnonised" 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," he said.
"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.
"Most importantly, Brendan (Rodgers, his manager at Liverpool) 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."
Gerrard made his debut in 2000 in a 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley and went on to play in six major tournaments, scoring 21 times over his entire career.
He captained the side 38 times and is the third most-capped England player of all time behind Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115).
"I'd like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey," added Gerrard.
"I'd 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 alongside. In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results.
"I'd especially like to thank Roy (Hodgson), firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream.
"He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard," he added.