John O'Shea calls time on his International football career

The FAI is leading tributes to defender John O'Shea following his retirement from international football with the Republic of Ireland.

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, O'Shea went on to captain his country 17 times and appear at both EURO 2012 and EURO 2016.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill saluted O'Shea by 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."

FAI CEO John Delaney believes history will remember O'Shea as one of Ireland's greatest ever servants and that he deserves to be lauded for his performances as much as for his longevity.

"We have been very fortunate to have had some truly outstanding servants pull on the Republic of Ireland jersey and John O'Shea is most definitely one of those. When you watched him play it was clear to see how much it meant to him to be representing his country and that kind of commitment inspired players and supporters across many generations," said Delaney.

John O'Shea celebrates with Shane Long.

"A proud Waterford man, who was given a great introduction to football by Ferrybank and Waterford Bohemians, John always gave everything for Ireland and that is evidenced by the fact that he played international football for 17 consecutive years. That is a remarkable achievement and explains why he has always been a firm favourite amongst the Ireland supporters.

John is one of the most decorated Irish players of the modern era due to his tremendous success with Manchester United, but he will be known more for his leadership - on and off the pitch. Whether it was with Sunderland or Ireland, John led by example and others followed. Just like his father, Jim, who was a gentleman, John has and always will be a passionate supporter of Irish football.

"We will pay tribute to John at the United States game on June 2. I hope the Ireland supporters will turn out in force to give a deserved send-off to one of the most committed players ever to pull on the green jersey."

O'Shea started 111 of his 117 senior appearances - winning 46 of them - and appeared in six UEFA European Championship games. He is currently the third most capped men's player behind Shay Given and Robbie Keane.

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John O'Shea celebrates vs Germany in October 2014.

John O'Shea International Career

Caps: 117

Goals: 3

Debut: Croatia, Lansdowne Road, August 15, 2001

First Goal: Australia, Lansdowne Road, August 19, 2003

- Digital Desk

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