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Aston Villa & Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given retires from international football

Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given has announced his retirement from international duty with Republic of Ireland.

The experienced shot-stopper, who earned 125 caps for his country, has decided to end his involvement with the national team 16 years after making his debut against Russia.

The 36-year-old was reported to be considering retirement after Giovanni Trappatoni's men were eliminated from Euro 2012 following defeat in all group games against Croatia, Spain and Italy.

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Upon an official announcement by Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Given tweeted about his decision to retire, saying: "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."

The FAI confirmed the news in a statement on their website, which read: “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.”

Current Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni added: “‘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.”