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Svensson calls time on Sweden career

Published: Thursday 12 December 2013, 16.19CET
Sweden midfielder Anders Svensson spoke of "one of my most difficult decisions ever" as he announced he was retiring from international football with 148 caps to his name.
Svensson calls time on Sweden career
Anders Svensson scores what proved his final goal for Sweden, against Ireland on 6 September ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 12 December 2013, 16.19CET

Svensson calls time on Sweden career

Sweden midfielder Anders Svensson spoke of "one of my most difficult decisions ever" as he announced he was retiring from international football with 148 caps to his name.

Sweden's most-capped men's player, Anders Svensson, has announced his retirement from international football.

In a statement, the IF Elfsborg midfielder said: "This is one of my most difficult decisions ever, but it's time for me to step aside and make room for younger players."

The 37-year-old made the last of his 148 appearances for the Blågult in the FIFA World Cup play-off defeat by Portugal last month, when a hat-trick from Cristiano Ronaldo condemned his side to a 3-2 second-leg defeat and 4-2 overall reverse.

"It still feels disappointing that we did not get to the World Cup in Brazil next summer," added the former Southampton FC player. "It was my last chance to do so."

Svensson, whose debut came against South Africa in November 1999, featured in three UEFA European Championships and five final tournaments overall, scoring one of his 21 goals in a 1-1 draw against Argentina at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.

Sweden coach Erik Hamrén said: "I have had very good talks with Anders. We've talked about everything – his qualities as a footballer, the national team and the future of Swedish football – but I have been careful not to try to influence his decision. It must come from within.

"I respect that, but I will miss him. I really want to thank him for who he was during my time [in charge]. Besides, he is a lovely guy and a good footballer. He has also, through his exemplary leadership, contributed a lot to the group."

Last updated: 12/12/13 16.32CET

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