Wales forward Bellamy to retire from international football

The Cardiff forwards feels the time is right to finish playing for his country and is looking forward to his final two games against Macedonia and Belgium
Wales striker Craig Bellamy has confirmed he will retire from international football at the end of the World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign.

The Cardiff forward is in Chris Coleman’s squad for the forthcoming games against Macedonia and Belgium, but will retire from Wales duty after those matches.

The former Liverpool man made his debut for his country in a friendly against Jamaica in 1998 and has won 76 international caps but says it is time to call it day.

"Players come and go and my career has definitely come and gone," Bellamy told reporters.

"I have to do what's best for the national team and this group of players are the future. The next qualifiers, two-odd years, I'm not going to see it."

"I'm just grateful for every game I've been lucky enough to play for my country, and I really mean that

"It's an honour to play for your country at any level at any sport.

"[Playing] 70-odd times, it's been the best. Even the disappointments, even the lows, even the times I didn't want to play again because sometimes defeats can do that to you.”

Bellamy could play his final home game for Wales on Friday against Macedonia and admits it could be an emotional occasion.

"Seventy-odd times having that honour like singing the anthem… it's still the best and Friday will be the best and hopefully I will get the chance to do it again on Tuesday. [It] will be hard to let go," he said.

"My daughter will probably come out with me [before the Macedonia game] but it will probably hit me more after it... when you're watching the team."