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English Premiership

Brown retires from international football

LONDON, August 9 – Manchester United defender Wes Brown became the second England player on Sunday to retire from international football, dealing another worrying snub to coach Fabio Capello.
Just hours after Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson said he was quitting, Brown, who was left out of the squad to face Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday, also called time on his international career.

"Wes Brown has this evening announced his retirement from international football," read a statement from the Football Association.

"He came to the England team hotel this evening to meet with and tell Fabio Capello in person."

Brown won 23 caps in an international career which began against Hungary in 1999.

He was part of Sven-Goran Eriksson’s 2002 World Cup squad in Japan and South Korea, but did not play a game.

The United defender started in Capello’s first two games in charge against Switzerland and France, but injury took hold once more and he failed to make Capello’s squad for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

Robinson, the 30-year-old former Leeds and Tottenham ‘keeper, had been named in the England squad to face Hungary at Wembley on Wednesday.

But he said he wants to concentrate on his club career.

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"Only now have I been able to make this decision as previously I haven’t been in contention for selection," he said.

"I don’t see myself as a number three or four keeper and find that role very frustrating."

Robinson added he believed it was "in the best interest of myself and my club Blackburn Rovers that I concentrate solely on my club football."

He won 41 caps after making his bow against Australia in 2003 and was number one for the 2006 World Cup campaign.

But some high-profile mistakes saw him lose his way and his first-choice status as England missed out on qualification for Euro 2008 under Steve McClaren.

Two errors saw him fluff a backpass from Gary Neville during a 2-0 defeat in Croatia, and he then palmed a long-range effort from Roman Pavlyuchenko into the net in a 2-1 defeat in Russia.

He joined Blackburn two years ago and appeared to have regained his best form, saving two penalties as the club reached the League Cup semi-finals by beating Chelsea in a shootout last season.

But he missed the cut for this summer’s World Cup finals as Capello opted for David James, Joe Hart and Robert Green.

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