Republic of Ireland winger James McClean has announced his retirement from international football.
The 34-year-old has revealed the upcoming November friendly match against New Zealand will be his final time playing for the Republic of Ireland.
James has played for the Irish team for over ten years after joining them in 2012 and just recently celebrated his 100th cap for his country in the 3-0 win over Gibraltar.
Issuing a statement on social media, James said: “On February 20th 2012, I received my first call-up to represent my country. In all honestly, hand on heart, there are no words that could do justice to that feeling.
View this post on Instagram
“Now, 11 years later, I have come to a point, one that truth be told you never think is going to come but here we are, where I am announcing my retirement from international football at the end of the 2023 season.
“I have spoken with Stephen Kenny & the New Zealand match in November at the Aviva Stadium will be the last time that I will celebrate pulling on the green jersey as a player and give me a chance to say goodbye to the best fans in the world.”
Continuing on, James said: “It has the meant the absolute world and more to be able to pull on the green jersey with honour, step out onto a football pitch – especially at the Aviva Stadium – to represent our great country, standing singing Amhrán na bhFiann ready to go out into battle with your fellow countrymen.”
Before concluding his post, James mentioned that as heartbreaking as it is to not be involved with the Irish team beyond this year, he feels as though this is the right time for him to step away.
The player then went on to thank all of the managers he played under, including Giovanni Trapattoni, Martin O’Neill, Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny, for giving him the opportunity to play.
“Thank you, Ireland – it’s been the biggest privilege and as always, an honour.”
The news comes after James appeared on Patrick Kielty’s first Late Late Show last month where he was hailed for his “brilliant” and “honest” interview.
We wish him all the best going forward!