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Bellamy to quit internationals

08 October 2013, 21:27

Cardiff  - Wales striker Craig Bellamy will retire from international football at the end of the World Cup qualifying ampaign next week, the 34-year-old said on Tuesday.

Bellamy, who plays for home-town team Cardiff City after spells at a number of Premier League clubs including Liverpool, will step down from the national side after next Tuesday's final qualifying match against Belgium.

He has won 76 caps for Wales and scored 19 goals since making his debut against Jamaica in 1998.

"Players come and go and my career has definitely come and gone," he was reported as saying by the BBC.

"I have to do what's best for the national team and this group of players are the future. The next qualifiers, two-odd years, I'm not going to see it."

Wales, who cannot qualify for the tournament in Brazil, play Macedonia in Cardiff on Friday. If Bellamy picked up a booking he would miss the second match against Belgium through suspension.

The former captain is the third most-capped Welsh player and his country's fifth highest-scorer.

"I'm just grateful for every game I've been lucky enough to play for my country, and I really mean that," he said.

"It's an honour to play for your country at any level at any sport.

"(Playing) 70-odd times, it's been the best. Even the disappointments, even the lows, even the times I didn't want to play again because sometimes defeats can do that to you.

"It will be hard to let go."

- Reuters


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