Liverpool midfielder James Milner has retired from international duty with England at the age of 30, the Football Association announced on Friday. Milner made 61 appearances and scored one goal for his country, featuring at two World Cups and two European Championships.
But the versatile former Manchester City player was rarely a first-choice pick and has informed new England manager Sam Allardyce that he no longer wants to be considered for selection. “I would like to thank Sam for taking the time to come and see me in person and have the conversation face-to-face, regarding my international future and role within the England set-up,” Milner said in an FA statement.
“I think the decision we have reached is all about common sense. I wish Sam, the players, staff and supporters success in the future.” However, Milner, who holds the record for England Under-21 caps with 46, has expressed willingness to play for his country again, but only in exceptional circumstances.
“After we had a lengthy conversation with him earlier this week, he has decided to take a step back from international duty; a decision I fully respect,” Allardyce said. “James can be proud of his seven-year career as a senior England player and has never let his country down when called upon. “His club career, already glittering, has many years ahead and we wish him well with Liverpool this season and beyond.”
Milner, who counts Leeds United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa among his former clubs, was awarded his England debut by Fabio Capello in a friendly against the Netherlands in August 2009. He played for just three minutes as a substitute at Euro 2016, where England were humiliatingly eliminated by minnows Iceland in the last 16, prompting manager Roy Hodgson to resign.
But he was a major figure in his maiden Liverpool campaign last season, playing 45 times and scoring seven goals as Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the final of both the League Cup and Europa League. Liverpool tackle Barcelona in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday before opening their Premier League campaign at Arsenal the following weekend.