Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football. One of the factors that influenced the third-most capped England player of all time is Liverpool’s involvement in next season’s Champions League.

The Liverpool ace wrote on FA’s official website: “This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.

He continued,”Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.

To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club I believe this is the right decision, and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.”

Reacting to the news, England coach, Roy Hodgson said: “While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country. I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.”

Gerrard made his debut in 2000, featured in 6 tournaments and scored a total of 21 goals.