Wing wizard Damien Duff has followed close friend Shay Given into international retirement – but Robbie Keane will lead Ireland in the World Cup qualification bid.
Duff has brought the curtain down on his international career after winning his one hundredth cap in the Euro 2012 defeat to Italy in June.
The Fulham star informed manager Giovanni Trapattoni of his decision on Friday, just hours before the squad for the World Cup opener against Kazakhstan was made public.
Like Given a fortnight earlier, Duff has decided to quit the international stage and concentrate on his club career.
Keane however has been named in the Ireland squad for the trip to Kazakhstan while defender Richard Dunne will meet Trapattoni in England over the weekend to discuss his future.
Confirming the news, the 33-year-old Duff said: “I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.
“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.
“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco Tardelli and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere.
“He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”
Duff joined Blackburn as a trainee in 1996 and stayed until 2003, before spending three seasons at Chelsea and Newcastle before signing for Fulham in 2009.
John Delaney, FAI chief executive added: “I have no doubt that Damien Duff will go down in history as one of Ireland’s greatest ever players.
“He has been an extraordinary servant to his country and has given us all some wonderful memories as well as being a true gentleman. Thank you Damien and all the best for the future.”
Trapattoni has left Wolves winger Stephen Hunt and Norwich pair Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington out of his squad for the trip to Kazakhstan early next month.
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space