RIO DE JANEIRO — England captain Steven Gerrard has denied he will retire from international soccer after Thursday’s World Cup clash with Costa Rica, though he acknowledges he will consider his Three Lions future.
The Liverpool midfielder was criticised for his performances in successive 2-1 defeats against Italy and Uruguay, with England crashing out of the showpiece, but the 34-year-old is not resigned to hanging up his international boots just yet.
"There’s no truth that I will be making any announcement within a week," he told reporters. "I think I need more time than that. I spoke to the manager this morning and will wait until after the summer.
"I'm hurting very badly. I'm still feeling broken from what’s happened. I need to get away on holiday and having a break before making that decision. I don't have a hunch. I will speak to the manager in a few weeks' time and numerous other people who I respect. It’s a big decision and I will make it in due course.
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"It's a difficult time to be an England player, everybody is hurting. Thanks to the fans for the support. The players take full responsibility on our shoulders. All we can do as players is stick together. We can't allow it to go on the manager's shoulders. We have to stand tall and be thick-skinned.
"It's very difficult to fight those opinions [of a lack of world-class English talent] but I think we have got world-class players here and potential world-class players too. My argument won’t be proven right until it’s been shown at this level. I understand people all over the country will have different opinions. I’m not in a position to fight negative assertions at the moment."
Gerrard has made 113 appearances for his country, ranking him behind just Peter Shilton (125) and David Beckham (115) as England's most capped player, while only four players have worn the captain's armband for England on more occasions.