Europe news

Bellamy considering Wales retirement

September 9, 2013
By ESPN staff

Craig Bellamy has confirmed he is considering retiring from international duty at the end of Wales' World Cup qualifying campaign next month.

Craig Bellamy
GettyImagesBellamy has played 75 matches for Wales.

Bellamy, 34, played a full match in Wales' 2-1 defeat to Macedonia on Friday, which dropped Chris Coleman's side to fifth place in Group A.

The Cardiff forward revealed personal factors and a desire to give his country's younger players a chance, could culminate in his retirement from all forms of football by the end of this season.

When asked if he will continue to play for Wales in the qualification for Euro 2016, Bellamy said: "I don't think that's going to be possible. I know I said I would not retire from international football and I really want this group to succeed.

"But it's a two-year period to qualify and if I start (the campaign) then step aside, it is robbing someone else of two or four matches, of vital experience, and they would miss out as well.

"That's the way I'm looking at it. I honestly think Wales have a great chance of doing something but I've thought about it really hard.

"It's difficult. I'm a single parent now and I'm having such a battle to see my kids on a daily basis. It's so hard. Then, being away for 10 days, I'm not the only dad who has to go through it, but if you have experienced it, then you would understand."

Although Bellamy refused to make a final decision on his international career and conceded he may change his mind, he has already considered life after football.

"My mood does change... I know I could change what I'm thinking," he added. "But the way I'm feeling now, it could be my last season in football.

"I have so much to look forward to after football. Life isn't just about football. The adventure starts when you finish and I'm looking forward to that. "

"I've been playing at a professional level for 17, 18 years now and there's more to life. I love the game, don't get me wrong, I've cherished every moment of it.

"I've got my A licence already, then I'm doing my pro-licence. After that, I'm going to travel around the world -- Spain, Argentina -- and learn my craft. I don't just want to go in and mess about. When I go in, I'm going to be prepared and I'm going to stay in."

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