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Wednesday 14 November 2018

O'Neill hails O'Shea

Defender to hang up green jersey after friendly with US

John O’Shea is pictured in action during a World Cup qualifier against Wales in March of last year
John O’Shea is pictured in action during a World Cup qualifier against Wales in March of last year

John O'Shea will retire from international football after next month's friendly clash with the USA at the Aviva Stadium.

One of only six senior men's players to reach 100 caps, O'Shea made his senior debut against Croatia at the old Lansdowne Road in 2001 and has played for Ireland in every calendar year since then.

An underage star, who helped the Ireland Under 16s win the UEFA European Championships in 1998, Waterford-born O'Shea went on to captain his country 17 times and appear at both the Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 finals.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill saluted O'Shea, saying: "John has had a great career internationally and played at the very top at club level with Manchester United, where he won a lot of trophies.

"For any player to get over 100 caps is a magnificent feat and he can be very proud of that achievement. I will always remember John's goal away to Germany in Gelsenkirchen. He doesn't score too many goals so that made it even more special.

"I wish John the very best for the future and I'm sure he will become an excellent coach. And if he wants to I'm sure he has the capabilities of becoming a manager too."

O'Shea, now 37, is expected to stay on at the Stadium of Light despite the club's relegation from the Championship.

The Waterford-born centre-back, who had 12 years at Manchester United winning five Premier Leagues, a European Cup and an FA Cup, joined Sunderland in 2011.

He has amassed 116 Ireland caps, including three goals, perhaps the most famous of which came in the form of a late equaliser in a Euro 2016 qualifier against World Champions Germany in Gelsenkirchen back in October 2014.

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