Schwarzer retires from Socceroos
Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has retired from international football, effective immediately.
The 41-year-old Schwarzer notified Football Federation Australia (FFA) of his decision on Wednesday morning, just hours before new coach Ange Postecoglou named his first Socceroos squad for this month's friendly against Costa Rica.
Schwarzer is Australia's most-capped player with 109 appearances for the Socceroos since his debut in 1993.
His retirement further opens the door to a bunch of talented goalkeepers vying to make the squad for next year's World Cup in Brazil, including Mitch Langerak, Eugene Galekovic and youngster Mathew Ryan.
The 2014 showpiece was expected to be Schwarzer's third and final World Cup campaign, having represented Australia in the 2006 and 2010 editions.
But Schwarzer's recent move from being Fulham's first-choice gloveman to powerhouse Chelsea, where he's been playing back-up to the established Petr Cech, raised questions as to whether he would be able to hold onto his starting role in the team.
Schwarzer was on the end of Australia's 6-0 drubbing by Brazil in his last match for the national team in September.
However he has managed to keep two clean sheets in as many matches for Chelsea in the League Cup.
Socceroos teammate Tim Cahill hailed Schwarzer as one of the country's greatest footballers.
"Mark Schwarzer a true professional and is one of the all time greats for our game to ever wear a Socceroos jersey," Cahill wrote on Twitter minutes after the news broke.
Former Socceroo Mile Sterjovski echoed his statements, as the social media website went into overdrive following the announcement.
"Congratulations to Mark Schwarzer on a brilliant career. One of the greats! All the best in the future. #legend" Sterjovski wrote.
The FFA is expected to confirm Schwarzer's retirement when the national team is announced later on Wednesday morning.