Duff retires from international football

Duff retires from international football

Damien Duff is to retire from international football.

After winning 100 caps for Ireland, the Fulham winger has confirmed that he will not be making himself available for the upcoming qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup.

The 33-year-old was widely tipped to end his Ireland career after the disappointing Euro 2012 campaign, he told reporters after the game that he had already made up his mind about his international future.

His delay in following the example of Shay Given had prompted speculation that the Dubliner could be convinced to continue for another campaign, but he is understood to have informed Giovanni Trapattoni that he now wants to focus on his club career.

Trapattoni will name his squad for next month's world cup qualifier in Kazakhstan later this afternoon when he is also likely to face further questions about the futures of Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane.

Duff told the Football Association of Ireland’s website: “I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.

“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.

“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”

Fulham midfielder Duff captained Ireland in their last Euro 2012 group game against Italy.

The news comes after goalkeeper Shay Given announced his international retirement last week.

Current Republic manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere.

“He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”

Duff joined Blackburn as a trainee in 1996 and stayed until 2003, spending three seasons at Chelsea and Newcastle before signing for Fulham in 2009.

He made his senior debut for the Republic against the Czech Republic alongside Robbie Keane.

Paddy McCaul, president of the FAI said: “Damien produced some moments of unforgettable magic on the pitch that will remain with Irish fans forever.

“We thank him for his enormous dedication over the last 14 years.”

John Delaney, chief executive added: “I have no doubt that Damien Duff will go down in history as one of Ireland’s greatest ever players.

“He has been an extraordinary servant to his country and has given us all some wonderful memories as well as being a true gentleman. Thank you Damien and all the best for the future.”

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