Germany defender Steffi Jones has announced her retirement from international football just months before their defence of the FIFA Women's World Cup in September.
Jones, 34, won 111 caps having made her debut in July 1993 against Denmark. That game was a 3-1 loss, but in all Germany gained victory in 76 of the matches she played in, Jones being part of triumphs in the 1997, 2001 and 2005 UEFA European Championship finals as well as the 2003 World Cup - smoking her traditional cigar after each success. She decided to bow out after Germany's disappointing showing at the recent Algarve Cup, where they lost three out of four fixtures including what proved Jones's swansong against Italy.
"The decision wasn't easy for me, but the idea has matured for a longer period of time," said Jones, who had been out of international football for six months due to injury before the tournament in Portugal. "This is the consequence of my own personal evaluation of my performances at the Algarve Cup. Even if others say I played decently, this is not enough for me. My aim is to be marching up front and not just following the others." Jones, who has lifted two UEFA Women's Cups with 1. FFC Frankfurt, intends to fulfil her club contract until summer 2008 while completing her coaching diploma. She has also worked for German television as a pundit, including at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
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