Wales midfielder Allen retires from international duty

LONDON: Wales midfielder Joe Allen (pix) announced his retirement from international football on Tuesday at the age of 32.

The former Liverpool player said injury problems had been a factor in the decision to end his Wales career after 74 caps as he focuses on playing for Championship side Swansea.

“Playing for Wales has been a great passion and love in my life, I have been extremely fortunate,“ Allen said in a statement released by the Football Association of Wales.

He added: “Our nation’s support is inspiring, and it has given me immense pride to wear the shirt — so many unforgettable experiences.

“Unfortunately, time and injuries take their toll and so it’s time for me to make way for our next generation.”

Allen made his Wales debut in 2009 and was part of a successful generation that also included Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

He was named in the Euro 2016 team of the tournament as Wales reached the semi-finals.

He also helped Wales qualify for Euro 2020 and reach their first World Cup since 1958 when they appeared at the tournament in Qatar last year.

Allen, who played for Liverpool and Stoke before returning to Swansea last year, made his final Wales appearance in the World Cup group-stage defeat against England. –AFP