The Republic of Ireland's most-capped player, goalkeeper Shay Given, has announced his retirement from international football after 16 years of service.
The 36-year-old, who made his debut in a 2-0 defeat by Russia in 1996, won his 125th and final cap as Ireland's UEFA EURO 2012 campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat by Italy in June. It was Given's second major tournament.
"This has been an extremely difficult decision for me," said the Aston Villa FC keeper. "I have dedicated 16 years of my life to my country and I have a great affinity with Giovanni Trapattoni's squad. I'd like to thank Giovanni, [assistant] Marco [Tardelli] and [goalkeeping coach] Alan Kelly for their support during my time with the team. I will continue to be Ireland's biggest fan and wish the lads well as they embark upon their new campaign."
Trapattoni, whose side travel to Serbia for a friendly on Wednesday, paid tribute to Given, saying: "I understand the difficult decision that Shay had to make, and appreciate all of his efforts during his international career. He is a strong player with a great character and his love of playing for his country always shone through. It has been a pleasure to work with him during my time with the team. I wish him the very best in his future."
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