SHAY GIVEN has confirmed he will retire from international football at the conclusion of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign.
The Lifford native (pictured above) originally hung up his international boots following Ireland’s 2-0 loss to Italy in Poznan at Euro 2012 – his 125th cap having made his debut in 1996.
Last year though, Given made a return to the set-up and was back in the team for the recent qualifiers against Poland and Scotland – both of which ended in 1-1 draws at the Aviva Stadium. Ireland take on Gibraltar next month in Faro and then welcome Georgia to Dublin, before facing Germany at home and Poland in Warsaw in October.
Next September, Ireland will begin their qualifiers – in a group containing Wales, Austria, Serbia, Georgia and Moldova – for World Cup 2018, which will take place in Russia.
“I would imagine this campaign for Euro 2016 will be it for me” Given said. “I am 39 now, I reckon this will be my last campaign. It’s an interesting draw for the qualifiers but I think I will be watching the World Cup games from the stands”.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper left Aston Villa for Stoke City over the summer but was on the substitutes’ bench as Mark Hughes’ side opened their Premier League campaign with a 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Sunday.