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Gerrard calls time on England career

England will head into their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign with a new captain at the helm following Steven Gerrard's retirement from international football.

Steven Gerrard's England milestones ©Getty Images

Steven Gerrard said he had "enjoyed every minute" of representing his country after announcing his retirement from England duty with 114 caps and 14 years of service to his name.

The midfielder, England's third-most-capped player of all time, captained his country on 38 occasions, including at UEFA EURO 2012 and the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. However, there will be a new man wearing the armband during the qualifying campaign to reach France in 2016. Roy Hodgson's side face Estonia, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia and Switzerland in Group E.

Gerrard trails only Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115) in the list of all-time appearance-makers for the Three Lions. "I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won't pull on an England shirt again," said the 34-year-old, who will skipper Liverpool FC on their return to the UEFA Champions League next season and assume a "high profile" ambassadorial role with the Football Association (FA). "This has been a very difficult decision – one of the toughest I've had to make in my career."

Hodgson, who described Gerrard as an "incredible man and a fantastic footballer," is likely to appoint a permanent successor prior to his team's opening qualifier in Switzerland on 8 September.

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