Ottmar Hitzfeld paid tribute to "the most prolific Swiss striker of all time" after Alexander Frei announced his intentions to retire from international football at the end of the season.
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Alexander Frei, who has scored 40 goals in 81 appearances for Switzerland, will retire from international football at the end of the season.
The FC Basel 1893 forward said on Thursday that Switzerland's UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England at Wembley will be his last. "I considered many positive wishes, requests and tips from everyone who encouraged me to continue with the national team," said the 31-year-old.
"At the same time, I took into consideration signals from those groups that have recently made no secret of their opinion that my time with the national team was up." Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was not one of them, revealing his regret at losing "the most prolific Swiss striker of all time".
Frei won his 81st cap as Switzerland beat Wales 4-1 on 12 October, getting off the mark in Group G following defeats by England and Montenegro. They will return to qualifying action against Bulgaria on 26 March before Frei bows out in England on 4 June.