England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football.The Liverpool midfielder made his debut for the Three Lions in 2000, in a 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley, and went on to play 114 times for his country, scoring 21 times in the process.Gerrard has been handed a a high profile ambassadorial role with the FA, and will continue to play for the Reds.“I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again,” he said. “However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward. “I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey.“I’d also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I’ve played under to the staff at The FA and, of course, all the players I’ve been fortunate to play alongside. “In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results. “I’d especially like to thank Roy [Hodgson], firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream. “He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard. “This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point. “Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field. “To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool I believe this is the right decision, and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.” England manager Roy Hodgson said: “While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country. “I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it. “He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard. “He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him. We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players. “I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward.”
0Shares0000That’s goodnight from me: Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann is expected to leave in the summer © AFP / OSCAR DEL POZOMADRID, Spain, May 14 – Antoine Griezmann’s first major trophy with Atletico Madrid may well prove to be his last if they can overcome Marseille in the Europa League final on Wednesday.Griezmann’s future has dominated the build-up to this week’s showpiece match in Lyon, with the striker widely expected to join Barcelona in the summer. A string of Atletico players were quizzed at a club ‘Media Day’ last week and even if coach Diego Simeone insisted his focus was like that of a racehorse – “head forward, I don’t see or hear anything but the final” – it is impossible to ignore the noise surrounding the Frenchman.Luis Suarez had stirred the pot by speaking about Griezmann as though a deal with Barca was already completed, which prompted an angry response from Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin.“We’re fed up with Barcelona’s attitude,” he said in a statement.“How a president, player and board member speak the way they have done about the future of a player with an existing contract and just a few days before disputing a European final, is an absolute lack of respect towards Atletico.”Griezmann has certainly not dampened the speculation, saying only that he wants his future resolved before the start of the World Cup, while last week even Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo was hardly reassuring when he said: “Antoine Griezmann is an Atletico Madrid player, as of today.”It all suggests the final could be amount to a Griezmann farewell, after a bumpy four years at Atletico, undoubtedly successful as a whole but not without a few stumbles along the way.This term, he has 30 goals in 52 appearances and, since he joined, his La Liga record stands at 79 in 142.“I think Griezmann is big enough to know what he’s doing,” his strike partner Diego Costa said.“For a player, when Barca want you, it makes you feel important, but he knows that he is important for us and that we want him here.”A departure seemed likely last summer when Griezmann rated his chances of joining Manchester United at “six out of 10” but if his teasing was then deemed slightly disrespectful, his decision to stay was applauded.Atletico had been hit with a transfer ban and Griezmann said it would feel “dirty” to leave, with the club incapable of bringing in his successor.But a new contract looked more like a stop-gap given it included a 100 million euro release clause, which will activate from July 1. For a 27-year-old in the prime of his career, before a World Cup, it is not a figure to deter his suitors.“He would be cheap for the international market,” Filipe Luis said. “And it will be even cheaper if he wins the final.”All the more reason then for Griezmann to deliver against Marseille, and for the club that took the gamble to sign him from Real Sociedad in 2014 when other elite teams looked but decided to hold off.Marseille, meanwhile, are the club Griezmann was pictured managing while playing the game ‘Football Manager’ last year, when he jokingly apologised to Valere Germain and Kostas Mitroglou for not picking them in his side.The furore surrounding Griezmann also serves to highlight the brilliant job Simeone has done, against the odds, and with rivals always circling his star players.But Griezmann too has been key to Atletico’s run to the final and his talent would be difficult to replace.“Right now he is thinking about winning a title,” Costa said. “If Griezmann can make history here with us, win that title, then afterwards there will be time for him to decide what to do.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2And as he stood in the gymnasium just before graduation, he shrugged off the accomplishment and said he did it in honor of his mom. “I just wanted to make her proud because I remember when I started kindergarten, she was so happy that day,” Rubly said. “I wanted to go every day and finish this for her.” Rubly was among 162 seniors who walked in Thursday’s commencement ceremony at St. Paul High’s stadium as hundreds of family and friends watched. Also on hand was former St. Paul Principal Robert Gallagher, who was recognized for recently receiving the title of monsignor within the Catholic Church. Principal Frank Laurenzello, valedictorian Elena Sanchez and salutatorian Tanya Mansir spoke at the ceremony. Laurenzello said most of St. Paul’s graduating class would be going on to some form of postsecondary education – and that included Clement Gosch, 18, who recently won a $20,000 scholarship from the Santa Fe Springs Chamber of Commerce and Industrial League Destiny Fund. “That was such a big help because I wasn’t sure which school I was going to,” Gosch said. “But now I can go to the bigger one, UC Irvine, because of this money.” In his speech, Laurenzello reflected on the graduates’ “busy” senior year. “But you’ve been there for each other when times were tough,” he said. “You’ve made a great impact on the St. Paul family. “You dared to dream, and now that dream is a reality,” he added. “God bless you all.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: 06/08: HS Graduates SANTA FE SPRINGS – For most high-schoolers, graduation is a time of farewell, of reflecting on the good and bad experiences of the past four years and looking forward to the adult challenges ahead. But for St. Paul High senior Andy Rubly, his graduation Thursday afternoon meant he could finally take some well-deserved time off. Rubly, 17, hadn’t missed a day of class in his 13 years attending St. Gregory the Great Church School and St. Paul High School.