Given retires from Irish duty
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Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given retired from international duty with the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

Given made his Irish debut against Russia in 1996 and went on to represent the Republic a record 125 times before hanging up his gloves in the aftermath of a disappointing UEFA EURO 2012 campaign.

The 36-year-old former Manchester City and Newcastle star was an ever-present at the EUROs as the Republic lost all three of their group games against Croatia, Spain and Italy.

This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make.
Shay Given hangs up his Irish boots

But Given was omitted from Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for Wednesday's friendly against Serbia as the Ireland manager looks at younger keepers.

And with the Republic about to start their 2014 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign, Given has opted to stand aside.

"This has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make," Given said. "I have dedicated 16 years of my life to my country, and I have a great affinity with Giovanni Trapattoni's squad.

"I'd like to thank Giovanni, [assistant] Marco [Tardelli] and Alan Kelly for their support during my time with the team. I will continue to be Ireland's biggest fan, and wish the lads well as they embark upon their new campaign."