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The Anfield skipper has revealed he is considering his future as part of the England squad, saying he might have to retire in order to prolong his useful service to his club

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has admitted he is considering retiring from international football after England compete at Euro 2012, in order to prolong his career at club level.

The Liverpool captain looks certain to lead the Reds out against Cardiff City at Wembley on Sunday as the season’s first major piece of silverware comes up for grabs. But it has not been a pleasant past two years for him as he has suffered a string of serious injuries.

The 31-year-old knows it will be a tough call choosing between the Three Lions shirt and his adored red shirt, but he believes bringing his England career to a premature end may be the best recipe for long-term success with Liverpool.

This wouldn’t be the first time an England player has chosen his club career over England; Paul Scholes did so in 2004.

Gerrard told The People: “It's something I am going to have to sit down and think about after the Euros this summer.

“I've not spoken to anybody about it yet, nor have I made any decision about what I might do because there are a lot of things to consider.

"I'm just fully focused on doing as well as I can for Liverpool this season and then playing in the Euros for England. After that we will see what happens.

"First and foremost is that I love playing for England and to captain your country is the pinnacle for any player so that makes me proud.

"And I want to make this clear, when I do decide to stop playing international football it would never be because I don't want to play for my country - it would never be because of that.

"But I am aware of the future, the injuries I've had, and I want to play for Liverpool as long as I can. I also know that there are quite a few players who have stopped playing international football to prolong their club careers and it's helped them to do that.

"I can understand why people might think that kind of a decision is approaching and I've spoken to my surgeon and the medical people but, like I say, I've not made any decisions because there is no need yet."

Gerrard skippered England at the 2010 World Cup and is the leading candidate to be given the armband by temporary boss Stuart Pearce on Wednesday, when the Netherlands visit Wembley.

The box-to-box midfielder has 89 caps to his name and revealed the prospect of reaching 100 might be too tempting.

“I'm on 89 caps at the moment so, if I'm fit and playing, with some friendly games to come and a decent tournament at the Euros, I could be in the mid-90s by the end of the summer,” he said.

"That would put me close to 100 caps which is an incredible milestone for any player.

"But that's out of my hands. It also depends on whether the new manager, whether it's Harry Redknapp or someone else, would want me after the Euros."


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