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INTERNATIONAL NEWS | James McClean confirms he is set to retire from international football

McClean will make one final appearance against New Zealand in November

5 October 2023

James McClean has announced he is set to retire from his illustrious international career for the Republic of Ireland.

In 2012, McClean made his debut international debut against the Czech Republic in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

In a statement he released on his Instagram account this morning, the 34-year-old announced that their friendly in November against New Zealand will be his final appearance in a Republic of Ireland shirt.

He captained his country on several occasions, and in his own words, lived the dream that every fan wants to do.

Across his storied career, he made 102 appearances for his country, including two European Championship finals, in 2012 and 2016.

In 2012, he made one substitute appearance against Spain, who ran out tournament winners in a 4-0 victory against Italy.

The 2016 tournament in France proved to be a very different competition, as the Republic of Ireland qualified from Group E in third place.

As the second-best third-place team they made it into the Round of 16 against tournament hosts France.

The game that got them to that stage went down in recent history, as Robbie Brady’s 85th-minute strike against Italy secured their qualification.

Brady also struck first in that game too, but they ended up losing the contest 2-1 to the tournement finalists, France.

His final competitive appearance came against The Netherlands, where McClean started for Stephen Kenny’s side.

After calling time on his international career, McClean explained that his final match against New Zealand would be an emotional one.

He said: I’m obviously looking forward to it but in the same sense it will be sad because it’ll be the last time, I ever do it.

“It’ll be mixed emotions on the night but I’m looking forward to having a home send-off.

“It’s very hard to explain what it means to play for my country. I’m a fan that got to live his dream and that’s the most special part of it all.”

Everyone at Wrexham AFC wishes James well on his retirement from international football, and his final fixture against New Zealand in November.

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