Paraguay's Santa Cruz announces international retirement

ASUNCION, Paraguay (AP) Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz says he's retiring from international soccer.

The 35-year-old forward announced Tuesday that he will leave the national team after the World Cup qualifiers against Peru on Thursday in Asuncion and Bolivia next Tuesday in La Paz.

Santa Cruz began his career at the Olimpia club of the Paraguayan capital. He also played for Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Real Betis, Malaga and Mexico's Cruz Azul, before returning to Olimpia this season.

He has scored 32 goals with Paraguay and played in three World Cups.

Paraguay is seventh in the South American qualifiers with 15 points. Only the top four countries qualify automatically for Russia, with the fifth-place team going to a continental playoff.

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