Shay Given won 125 caps for Ireland. INPHO/Donall Farmer
Stepping Aside

Wave goodbye: Shay Given announces retirement from international football

The FAI confirmed the goalkeeper’s decision in a statement earlier this evening.

ASTON VILLA GOALKEEPER Shay Given has announced his retirement from international football this evening.

The goalkeeper, who earned 125 caps for Ireland, had been widely criticised for his recent performances at Euro 2012, with many believing he wasn’t fully fit.

And the FAI confirmed the goalkeeper’s decision this evening with a statement, which read:

The Football Association of Ireland today (Monday) confirmed that Shay Given will retire from international football with the Republic of Ireland. The 36 year old goalkeeper spoke to Giovanni Trapattoni to inform him of his decision.

Giovanni Trapattoni praised Shay for his outstanding contributions to Ireland during his 16 year international [sic] and for all that he had done under his own time as manager during a lengthy conversation this afternoon.

Speaking today Shay said, ‘This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make. 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 the Giovanni, Marco and 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.’

Given also continued to show his support and dedication to the squad by saying that should there be an emergency, he would happily return to assist with goalkeeping duties.

Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli have said that they are extremely grateful that Given has said that he would make himself available should they need him.

Trapattoni said, ‘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. ’

Given holds 125 caps for his country making him the highest capped Irish player in history.

In addition, Given added, via Twitter:

“After a lot of thought and consideration, I have made the most difficult decision to retire from international football.

“It’s been a great honour and privilege to play and on occasion captain the team. I shall remain a huge fan of the team as I have been all my life and I wish them every success for the future.

“I wish to thank all the players,managers,staff & most importantly the most wonderful fans in the world

“Finally I would like to thank my wife Jane,my 2 amazing kids and my entire family for their unwavering support over the 16 years & 125 caps.”

Meanwhile, the Irish squad have suffered a further setback to their preparations for the upcoming friendly with Serbia on Wednesday, with news that Stephen Ward and Keith Treacy have had to withdraw through injury, while goalkeeper David Forde is also a doubt.

The squad have already been hit by several withdrawals, coupled with the absence of a number of high-profile players, including Robbie Keane.

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