By 90Min
November 02, 2017

West Ham defender James Collins has announced his retirement from international football after securing 50 caps for Wales.

The 34-year-old centre-back has found himself down in the pecking order behind the likes of Ashley William and James Chester, and he confirmed his decision to step away from international football on social media - although he admitted he could make himself available if an injury crisis arose. 

His post on Instagram read: "From the first time I pulled on the Wales shirt as a 14 year old boy till today it has been one of my proudest moments in football.

"But the time has come to step aside to let the younger lads take our great country forward and to great things. It's been a difficult decision to come to, to leave behind such a amazing set of lads and a top manager in Chris Coleman and all his staff, but feel the time is right!!

"I’d like to thank the gaffa, his staff and the lads for giving me the best time of my life at the Euros last year, it’s a time myself and my family will never forget Thank You!! 

"I’d also like to thank the truly amazing welsh fans who supported myself and the team through thick and thin over the years we couldn’t have achieved what we have without your support Thank You!!"

Mikael Sjoberg/Ombrello/GettyImages

His international manager Chris Coleman paid tribute to the defender following his announcement, he said, via the BBC"It's a shame because I've really enjoyed working with him.

"He's definitely someone I'd put in a dressing room that I can remember, rather than the one I'm working with now. But he's been absolutely fantastic.

"He has said if we're absolutely desperate he would come out of retirement - and that speak volumes for 'Ginge' that he has given us that option," he added. 

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