Ki Sung-yueng calls time on Taeguk Warriors career
Seoul: Korea Republic midfielder Ki Sung-yueng announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, after clocking up more than 110 appearances since making his debut in 2008.
In a letter sent to the Korea Football Association (KFA), Ki made it official that he will no longer play for the Taeguk Warriors.
"With the 2019 AFC Asian Cup being my last event, I'm laying down the big honour and responsibility of the national team," Ki said in his letter.
"In my football career, the national team was more valuable than anything else. I want to thank fans who have loved and supported me for all this time."
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Ki, who plays for English Premier League club Newcastle United, hinted at international retirement after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Head coach Paulo Bento, however, coaxed him to stay on for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 campaign.
However, his UAE 2019 campaign was cut short prematurely when he suffered a hamstring injuring during Korea Republic’s opening win over the Philippines in Dubai.
Ki signs off as the eighth-most capped Korea Republic player, behind Cha Bum-kun (136 matches), Hong Myung-bo (136), Lee Woon-jae (133), Lee Young-pyo (127), Yoo Sang-chul (124), Kim Ho-gon (124) and Cho Young-jeung (113).
Having scored 10 goals in his Korea Republic career, Ki featured in three World Cups (2010, 2014, 2018) and three Asian Cups (2011, 2015, 2019). He also represented the country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Summer Games, where Korea Republic earned a bronze medal.
The former Celtic and Swansea City midfielder served as Korea Republic’s captain from 2015 to 2018. He is also a three-time KFA Player of the Year, having received the top honour in 2011, 2012 and 2016.
Sources: Yonhap News Agency, Korea Football Association
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