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England striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old was part of England manager Fabio Capello's much-criticised squad that exited the World Cup in South Africa in the second round.

Heskey made his England debut against Hungary on 28 April, 1999 and earned 62 caps, scoring seven goals.

"I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride," the Aston Villa forward said.

"I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the FA and the fans for all their support over the years.

He played better than Rooney at the world cup and he does have his strengths, such as bringing others into the game

"I wish the management team and the playing squad all the best for the future."

Heskey was also part of the England squads at the 2002 World Cup as well as the 2000 and 2004 European Championships.

He grabbed a goal in the 2002 tournament's second round against Denmark but failed to score in South Africa after starting against the United States and Algeria before coming on as a substitute against Slovenia and Germany.

Heskey had gone into the 2010 World Cup on the back of a frustrating season for Villa as he struggled for first-team football.

However, he had been a regular starter during the qualifying campaign and Capello kept faith in him in South Africa as he paired Heskey with Wayne Rooney in attack.

Heskey divided opinion with his inclusion in Capello's first XI, with critics arguing his strengths as a target man were not matched by his finishing ability in front of goal.

And, despite teeing up Steven Gerrard for the opener in the 1-1 draw against the US, he failed to take a late chance to win the match.

His final appearance came in the 4-1 defeat by Germany, coming on 19 minutes from time with England already trailing by three goals.

From BBC Football
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