Irish footballer James McClean announced on Thursday, October 5 that he will retire from Ireland's international football at the end of the 2023 season.
McClean confirmed in an Instagram post on Thursday that the Ireland - New Zealand friendly in Dublin's Aviva Stadium on November 21 will be his last in an Irish shirt.
In his statement, McClean wrote: "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.
"Since then, 102 caps, 11 goals, and two European Championships.
"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.
"It has meant the absolute world and more to be able to pull on the green jersey with honor, 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. Nothing has ever come close.
"I gave absolutely everything I had of myself to ensure that I did the jersey, the fans and the country proud, and know that I never took it for granted each time. I hope that showed.
"It will be heartbreaking not to be involved beyond this year, but I feel now is the right time to step aside without any regrets. I lived my own and every young Irish footballer’s dream - and represented this country with pride.
"I want to thank all my managers - Giovanni, Martin, Mick, and Stephen - for giving me the opportunities; all my teammates; the staff, everyone from the coaching staff, right down to those at the hotel who looked after us; you, the Irish fans; and finally, a special thank you to my wife Erin for holding the fort back home with the kids - your unwavering and selfless support has allowed me to make the most of every second of my childhood dream.
"Thank you, Ireland - it’s been the biggest privilege and as always, an honor."
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Describing McClean as a "legend," the Football Association of Ireland looked back on the "incredible international career from our boy from Derry."
102 caps, 11 goals, two European Championships 💚
An incredible international career from our boy from Derry 🔴 pic.twitter.com/egp23SVICI— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) October 5, 2023
While McClean is retiring from Ireland's international football squad, he isn't fully retiring from playing. In August, he became the fourth Irish player to sign with Wrexham AFC, the Welsh club famously co-owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Wrexham AFC congratulated McClean on his international retirement on Thursday.
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