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Steven Gerrard should retire from England duty

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Thursday night's defeat to Uruguay coupled with Costa Rica's victory over Italy signalled the end of the 2014 World Cup for England.

The Three Lions now face a dead rubber clash against Costa Rica on Tuesday, a match that could represent captain Steven Gerrard's farewell appearance in an England shirt.

The 34-year old has racked up 113 appearances for his country after making his debut in May 2000 and has scored 21 goals. But the Liverpool midfielder has drawn criticism for his performances during this World Cup, fuelling speculation that he should retire from international football.

POOR PERFORMANCES

The skipper missed a tackle in midfield in the build-up to his Liverpool team mate Luis Suarez opening the scoring for Uruguay in Sao Paulo. His misjudged header then allowed the same player to score again handing Uruguay the three points.

With younger players such as Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Ross Barkley all vying for his position, now will surely be the right time to retire from international football. Gerrard will be 36 when the next international tournament arrives, the European Championships in France, and unless he plans on playing in that tournament he should retire before England start the qualification campaign in September.

CONCENTRATE ON LIVERPOOL

He will also be able to concentrate on continuing to play for Liverpool as they look to go one better than finishing second in the Premier League last season. After qualifying for the Champions League, Gerrard will have to play 50+ matches at the top level and will need to seriously consider weather he can participate in international matches as well.

- Gerrard capable of extending England career
- Gerrard no longer good enough for England

Gerrard's finest moment in an England shirt has surely got to be his 25-yard strike on the half volley against Germany putting the Three Lions 2-1 ahead back in 2001. One of the best nights in English football history as they ran out 5-1 winners.

LOW POINTS

But, as you'd expect with England, there were many low points for Gerrard during his England career. An intercepted back-pass in the last minute of the Euro 2004 clash with France resulting in a penalty and ultimately defeat. A missed penalty two years later at the World Cup against Portugal.

But above all, Gerrard has remained a leader for his country, captain or not. His qualities are portrayed off the field as well as on it. In the World cup warm-up friendly against Ecuador, Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling was sent off. Gerrard, who wasn't even on the bench on the day, was the first to put an arm around the 19-year old demonstrating his captaincy skills.

DESIRE & HUNGER

There is no doubting his leadership skills and based on Premier League performances last season, he is still the best English midfielder. But Gerrard has a major decision to make. Does he have the legs and hunger to continue until after Euro 2016? If he doesn't he should retire after the World Cup because there is little point playing friendlies and qualifiers around the World if he isn't going to play in France in two years time.

He will be missed because his passion for his country is evident. But it's time for him to step aside and allow some younger talent to express themselves.

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Topics:
England Football
World Cup
Football
Steven Gerrard

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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