SYDNEY: Socceroos’ skipper Mile Jedinak will not lead Australia in its defence of the Asian Cup next year after calling an end to his international football career on Monday.
The 34-year-old, who plays for English Championship side Aston Villa and led his team to two World Cups, announced his decision in a lengthy message on Instagram.
“After a huge amount of time reflecting and discussing with those closest with me, I feel that it is the right time to move aside in order to focus on my club football and prolonging that journey,” Jedinak wrote.
“As a young boy growing up it was my dream to play for Australia and to pull on the famous green and gold shirt to represent my country.”
Jedinak, who has 79 caps for the Socceroos and scored 20 international goals between 2008 and 2018, helped the team qualify for this year’s World Cup after scoring a hat-trick against Honduras in a play-off.
He was hailed by governing body Football Federation Australia as a role model for younger players.
“Mile Jedinak has been a fantastic servant to Australian football over a long period of time and his leadership of the national team has been truly inspirational,” FFA chairman Steven Lowy said in a statement.
Jedinak led Australia to the Asian Cup title in 2015 and his retirement means the team will be without him and veteran goalscorer Tim Cahill when they defend the trophy in the United Arab Emirates early next year.
Cahill, 38, hung up his boots in July after a stellar career for his country that saw him go to four World Cups and score 50 international goals in 107 appearances.—AFP