With more players withdrawing from international selection or retiring during their peak it’s becoming apparent that the appeal of representing your nation is what it once was. 

Are modern day footballers championing their domestic careers over the international stage? 

Rio Ferdinand, who was recently called up to the England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro announced on his official Facebook page that he was withdrawing from that squad due to an “pre-planned training and medical programme” which could not involve an appearance for the English national side. 

Ben Foster, who announced recently he was coming out of International retirement earlier on this year, had previously announced his unwillingness to play for the the Three Lions. 

Ghanaian brothers, Jordan and Andre Ayew have also recently announced their discontent at being left out of the Ghanaian African Cup of Nations Squad, which resulted in their retirement from the international scene. 

Jordan claimed that he would prefer to continue his development exclusively for the club he plays, Marseille, and Andre said he felt unable to work within the current management of the team after being dropped from the African Cup of Nations squad. 

These retirements have soon prompted criticism from traditionalists as they feel the modern day footballer has lost interest in the national side of the game due to the lucrative nature of domestic football. 

It seems a complete reversal from the football of old where selection for the national team was considered by many to be the pinnacle of success. 

The quality of international football is in danger of losing its appeal if early retirements and squad withdrawals continue. International football already struggles to ignite interest with the mundane nature of World Cup and European Championship qualification boring many fans. If players continue to neglect their national side then the fans will soon follow.


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Rio Ferdinand