By 90Min
March 29, 2018

Sunderland defender John O'Shea is to announce his retirement from professional football at the end of the season. 

The former Manchester United man has played 33 times for the Black Cats so far this season, as the club battle to stay in the Championship.

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

A report in the Times claims that the 36-year-old is ready to call time on his 19-year career, which has included 118 caps for the Republic of Ireland. 

O'Shea started his career at Manchester United, and made his debut for the Red Devils as a 17-year-old in 1999. He went onto make 393 appearances for the club, winning five Premier League titles, one FA Cup,  two League Cups and a Champions League. 

In 2011, the Irish international left Old Trafford for The Stadium of Light, and has been at Sunderland ever since, making 249 appearances for the club. He helped the club to avoid relegation from the Premier League for five seasons, but was unable to stop them dropping into the Championship last season. 

The Black Cats have since endured a torrid time, and face the distinct possibility of suffering back to back relegations and dropping into League One. 

(You may also be interested in: ''Not True': Ex-Sunderland Striker Quells Rumours of Consortium Takeover of Struggling Black Cats')

O'Shea has made a total of 653 club appearances, and could add a further eight if he plays all of Sunderland's remaining fixtures. 

As well as being a mainstay for his clubs, O'Shea has been one of the most successful players to pull on a Republic of Ireland shirt. He has 116 caps in the green of Ireland, and marked his 100th cap with a last minute equaliser against Germany in a World Cup qualifier. 

He missed out on playing in a World Cup for his nation, deemed too inexperienced for the 2002 competition, and subsequently failing to qualify at the next four attempts. 

O'Shea will retire as one of the most decorated Irishmen in the game, surpassed by only four compatriots: Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, Steve Heighway and Ronnie Whelan.

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