Chelsea goalkeeper announces international retirement

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Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer will miss the 2014 World Cup finals after announcing his retirement from international football.

The 41-year-old, who made 109 appearances for Australia during an international career spanning 20 years, was expected to be part of the Socceroos' 23-man squad for next summer's showpiece tournament in Brazil.

However, Schwarzer has now retired with immediate effect, informing Australia's recently-appointed head coach Ange Postecoglou of his decision.

"Mark has been a tremendous servant for the national team," Postecoglou told reporters.

"He is our most capped Socceroo, has been one of our best performers over a long period of time and he has always remained passionate about playing for Australia.

"I know the Australian football community will join me in paying tribute to Mark for everything he's done for the Socceroos."

The news of Schwarzer's decision also came as a surprise to Australia midfielder Tim Cahill, who commented: "It's incredible. I feel it's a massive surprise from someone that I've looked up to my whole career.

"He's one of the greatest ambassadors to ever play the game, but most importantly a true gentlemen on and off the park."

Schwarzer joined Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer after spending five years with Fulham.

He has made two appearances for the Blues, both of which have come in the Capital One Cup.

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