By 90Min
November 04, 2017

West Ham central defender James Collins claims that trying to earn a new contract at the Olympic Stadium was the reason behind his international retirement. 

Collins announced his retirement on Thursday, admitting that prolonging his club career for the Hammers drove him to his decision.

Speaking to BBC Sport Wales, Collins said: "My club career was another factor, I've only got this season at West Ham, I'm 34 now and I need to get as much rest as I can between games.

"I need to try and cement a contract for next year and beyond... to prolong my career and play in the Premier League as long as I can. It was a step I felt I had to take."

Collins has made over 50 appearances for Wales since his debut in 2004 against Norway and stated that his mind was made up following Wales' incredible run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016.


The former Cardiff and Aston Villa man continued, stating: "I've been thinking about it for a while, after the Euros really. 

"I thought finishing after the semi-finals of the Euros would be a big call, but then we had the World Cup qualifiers to looks forward to. 

"But something in my head said it was time, at the end I wondered if I was hanging around a bit too long at the end."

Collins' West Ham contract runs out at the end of this season, yet despite trying to earn a new contract from his club, he admits it would be too hard to turn down a return to the national side should be be needed.

He concluded: "I would always be available if I was needed and if I was still playing at a good level at West Ham."

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