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Aston Villa & Ireland Goalkeeper Shay Given Retires from International Football

By Austin Amuzie - Monday, August 13, 2012

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper And Most Capped Player Shay Given has announced his retirement from international football after winning 125 caps over 16 years for His Country.

The Aston Villa man said that his decision to quit international football had been "extremely difficult". "I have dedicated 16 years of my life to my county and I have a great affinity with Giovanni Trapattoni's squad," he added.

"I'd like to thank Giovanni, Marco (Tardelli) and Alan Kelly for their support during my time with the team.
"I will continue to be Ireland's biggest fan and wish the lads well as they embark upon their new campaign."

Having been left out of Giovanni Trapattoni's squad to face Serbia, 36-year-old Given decided to call time on his international career, informing fans on twitter of his retirement. “After a lot of thought and consideration, I have made the most difficult decision to retire from international football," Given said. "It’s been a great honour and privilege to play and on occasion captain the team. I shall remain a huge fan of the team as I have been all my life and I wish them every success for the future.

“I wish to thank all the players, managers, staff, and most importantly the most wonderful fans in the world. Finally I would like to thank my wife Jane, my 2 amazing kids and my entire family for their unwavering support over the 16 years & 125 caps.”

A 19-year-old Given made his Ireland debut in 1996 while on the books of Blackburn Rovers, starting against Russia in Mick McCarthy's first game in charge. The Boys in Green lost 2-0, but Given stood out with an assured performance between the sticks.

Since then, the Donegal-born shot-stopper has been a mainstay as Ireland's number one, playing 125 times under McCarthy, Brian Kerr, Steve Staunton, and Giovanni Trapattoni, and was first choice at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012.

While he did confirm his international retirement, a Football Association of Ireland statement added that Given had indicated that he would be prepared to "make himself available" in any emergencies in the future.

The FAI statement added the Trapattoni had spoken "at length" with Given on Monday afternoon before the retirement was confirmed.

Trapattoni praised Given for his "outstanding contributions to Ireland during his 16-year international career".
"I understand the difficult decision that Shay had to make and appreciate all of his efforts during his international career," said the Republic manager.

"He is a strong player with a great character and his love of playing for his country always shone through.
"It has been a pleasure to work with him during my time with the team. I wish him the very best in his future."

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