Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emile Heskey Announced His International Retirement

Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football today. The 32-year-old has represented England in 62 matches and scored 7 goals and his last match for the Three Lions was their 4-1 humiliating defeat to Germany at the round of 16 in World Cup 2010.

With this announcement, Heskey has brought his international career spanning 11 years to an end. However, the former Liverpool player would continue his club career with Aston Villa. Before his international debut in 1999, the tall and physically strong striker had represented England in U-16, U-18 and U-21 levels.

After coming through Leicester City youth side, Emile Heskey started his professional career with the senior side of Leicester City in 1995. After spending 5 seasons with Leicester, Heskey moved to Liverpool in 2000 and he enjoyed the best time of his career during his four-year stint with the Reds. Later on he spent 2 years at West Ham United and 3 years at Wigan Athletic before moving to Aston Villa in 2009.

Alike most of his England teammates, his performance in the recent World Cup was poor. He was in the starting eleven for the first two matches to partner with Wayne Rooney, but dropped to the bench as coach Capello opted to play Jermain Defoe in the starting line up for the last two matches. Heskey, however, played all four matches including 2 substitute appearances.

Regarding his retirement, Heskey said to the media, “I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride every time I have been fortunate enough to have been selected. 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. I wish the management team and the playing squad all the best for the future.”

Heskey could never cement his place in the England starting line up for a long time. Since the arrival of Wayne Rooney, Heskey’s role was reduced only to helping Rooney in the box and taking the pressure off Rooney’s shoulder. Heskey has done that job pretty well, though he did not get many goals to his name. Despite his lack of scoring form almost throughout his career, Emile Heskey was favorite to England managers.

The major tournaments where Emile Heskey represented England are European Championships in 2000 and 2004, and FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2010.

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