Liverpool midfielder Milner retires from international duty

Date published: Friday 5th August 2016 4:15

James Milner has retired from international football following talks with new England manager Sam Allardyce.

Milner, 30, has been part of the England squad at the last four major tournaments and earned 61 caps but managed just three minutes as a substitute at Euro 2016.

The Liverpool midfielder had already indicated a willingness to make way for the next generation and officially called time on his Three Lions career after a recent meeting with Allardyce. The Football Association announced his decision on Friday.

Milner, who is the country’s record cap holder at under-21 level with 46, said: “I would like to thank Sam for taking the time to come and see me in person and have the conversation face-to-face, regarding my international future and role within the England set-up.

“I think the decision we have reached is all about common sense. I wish Sam, the players, staff and supporters success in the future.”

Allardyce, who this week sent an introductory email to all 23 players on duty in France this summer, praised Milner’s contribution to the national side and revealed that he had offered to return to the fold should circumstances ever require him to do so.

“James has had the chance to reflect on his international career in recent months and consider his next steps, particularly with a young family at home and having allowed himself little free time away from the professional game in the past 15 years.

“After we had a lengthy conversation with him earlier this week, he has decided to take a step back from international duty; a decision I fully respect.

“James can be proud of his seven-year career as a senior England player and has never let his country down when called upon. His club career, already glittering, has many years ahead and we wish him well with Liverpool this season and beyond.

“In what is the mark of a true professional, James is a proud Englishman and has acknowledged that he would be prepared to step up again if I ever needed him to play a specific role of importance within my team.”

Milner made his senior England bow while still with Aston Villa in 2009, scoring his only goal in a World Cup qualifier in Moldova three years later.

Speaking last week after returning to training with the Reds, he publicly pondered his future with England, saying: “With the good young players that we have coming through, it is pointless me taking up a spot just because I am reliable.”

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