Gravesen retires from international football

September 15, 2006

Celtic midfielder Thomas Gravesen has announced his retirement from international football.

The 30-year-old has made 66 appearances for Denmark, but has now decided to concentrate on club commitments following his recent move to the Scottish champions from Real Madrid.

'I'm really pleased with my transfer to Celtic and happy to have a new start as a footballer,' he said in a statement released by the Danish FA.

'I already feel at home in Scotland and I therefore feel that I want to focus 100% on my new job.

'Since my debut in the national team, I've played in European Championships and World Cup finals, and I've had some fantastic experiences with the side. But I feel, following my move to Celtic, it is the right time for me to stop playing with the national team.

'I'm very grateful for the the time I've spent with the team though, and I want to thank all my team-mates, coach Morten Olsen, the Danish fans and everyone involved with the team. It's been an honour to represent Denmark.'

Gravesen made his international debut against Czech Republic in August 1998, and was part of the squad at Euro 2000 and 2004, as well as helping the side reach the second round of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea four years ago.

His final appearance in the red and white shirt was the 2-0 win over Iceland earlier this month, and coach Olsen admits he will be sorely missed during the rest of Denmark's Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

'I've known about his decision for some time, and tried to persuade him to change it,' Olsen said.

'Unfortunately, I couldn't and he obviously feels this is the right decision for him.

'So, with that in mind, I respect his decision and wish him all the best in his club career with Celtic.

'Thomas has been an incredibly important player for the national team, and all the players and coaches have every reason to thank him for his contributions down the years.'