By Phil Blanche, PA Sport
Wales midfielder Joe Allen has announced his retirement from international football.
Allen, one of Wales’ greatest-ever midfielders, said “time and injuries” had taken their toll as he called time on his 74-cap career.
“Playing for Wales has been a great passion and love in my life, I have been extremely fortunate,” the 32-year-old said in a statement released by the Football Association of Wales.
Diolch am bopeth Joe 🏴♥️#DiolchJoe pic.twitter.com/fmeQHM762O
— Wales 🏴 (@Cymru) February 7, 2023
“I have shared this journey with incredible people…my family, team-mates, staff and fans have made it special and I’m hugely grateful to you all.
“Our nation’s support is inspiring, and it has given me immense pride to wear the shirt…so many unforgettable experiences.
“Unfortunately, time and injuries take their toll and so it’s time for me to make way for our next generation.
“The future of Welsh football is bright. All the best, Joe.”
Swansea product Allen made his Wales debut in 2009 and was part of the so-called ‘Golden Generation’, which included Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, that took the nation to a first major tournament for 58 years at Euro 2016.
Allen was named in the official team of that tournament as Wales reached the semi-finals in France.
He also helped Wales qualify for Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the latter the nation’s first appearance on the global stage since 1958.
Legend 🏴 pic.twitter.com/9wytiooztL
— Neco Williams (@necowilliams01) February 7, 2023
Allen, who played for Liverpool and Stoke before returning to Swansea last summer, made his final Wales appearance in the World Cup defeat to England in November.
The player’s departure from the international scene is another blow to Wales boss Robert Page, who saw his captain and the country’s talisman Bale retire from football last month.
Wales start their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with games against Croatia and Latvia next month.