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Wes Hoolahan Announces Retirement From International Football

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Wes Hoolahan (C) of Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Glenn Whelan (L) and Robbie Brady (R) during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Stade de France on June 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Ireland cult hero Wes Hoolahan has called it a day from international football. The creative midfielder was a fan favourite throughout the latter part of his career, but was not always a go-to choice for Giovanni Trapattoni nor Martin O’Neill.

The Norwich star has featured prominently in some of Ireland’s greatest moments in recent times. Having opened the scoring again Sweden at Euro 2016, he turned provider for Robbie Brady’s goal against Italy with a perfect cross.

In the World Cup campaign, he executed masterful assists for key goals, including Shane Long’s strike against Moldova and James McClean’s winner in Vienna.

International Friendly, MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, USA 1/6/2017 Mexico vs Republic of Ireland Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

Speaking to the Herald, the 35-year-old revealed he has played his last game in the green jersey.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, to retire, but I feel it’s one I had to make and this is the right time to do it.

“It’s a mixture of things that led me to make this decision but mainly age, I will be 36 soon, I’ll be 38 when the next Euros come around, so it’s time to move aside.

“I spoke to Martin O’Neill last week and he accepted my decision. He didn’t try and talk me around, he knew my mind was made up and it was time to go.”

Ireland now look ahead to the UEFA Nations League and Euro 2020 campaigns knowing they must rebuild the attack. Hoolahan is the first to call it a day since the defeat to Denmark, but it is expected one or two other senior members of the side may join him in retirement.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.