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Australia's Mile Jedinak quits international football after 79 appearances

Australia midfielder Mile Jedinak announced his retirement from international football on Monday, bringing to an end a 79-cap career that included leading the Socceroos at two World Cups.

Aston Villa player Jedinak captained his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and this year's tournament in Russia, having also led them to an Asian Cup triumph on home soil in 2015.

The 34-year-old announced his decision in an Instagram post three months before Australia launch their continental title defence in the United Arab Emirates.

"I can confirm that after much deliberation I have made the decision to retire from playing international football," he wrote.

"As a young boy growing up, it was my dream to play for Australia and to pull on the famous green and gold shirt to represent my country.

"To have been given the opportunity to not only fulfil that dream, but to have done it 79 times, many of them as captain, makes me incredibly proud and thankful."

View this post on Instagram

I can confirm that after much deliberation I have made the decision to retire from playing international football. As a young boy growing up it was my dream to play for Australia and to pull on the famous green and gold shirt to represent my country. To have been given the opportunity to not only fulfil that dream, but to have done it 79 times, and many of which as captain, makes me incredibly proud and thankful. The countless unbelievable moments that I have experienced will stay with me forever, and I can honestly say that looking back I've had some of the best times of my life on the pitch playing for the Socceroos. It is an enormous privilege to represent your country and one I did not take lightly. Words will never be able to do justice the feeling of immense pride I felt when representing Australia. I gave everything I had in every single game I played to try and achieve success for our nation. However, after a huge amount of time reflecting and discussing with those closest with me, I feel that it is the right time to move aside in order to focus on my club football and prolonging that journey. Looking back, I feel blessed to be able to leave with memories that will last a lifetime. The feeling of captaining our country to Asian Cup glory in 2015, and to have been able to contribute to achieving success for Australia, will stay with me forever. Additionally being able to captain the team, and score, in two World Cups is something I could only have dreamed about as a boy. There are just too many highlights to mention them all. I would like to thank all of those who helped make it all possible. Thank you to everyone at the FFA, the team management and all of my teammates throughout the years. It's been an incredible journey alongside you all. Thank you to my family for your unwavering love and support throughout my international career. And finally I have to say a special thank you to the Australian fans for believing in me and supporting me through thick and thin. I've tried to do you all proud every time I've stepped out on to the pitch. We have an exciting generation of players coming through and I now can't wait to support the team in the future 🇦🇺

A post shared by Mile Jedinak (@milejedinak15) on

Jedinak, who also played at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scored 20 goals for Australia including two in the group stage exit in Russia.

"It is an enormous privilege to represent your country and one I did not take lightly," Jedinak said. "Words will never be able to do justice the feeling of immense pride I felt when representing Australia.

"I gave everything I had in every single game I played to try and achieve success for our nation.

"However, after a huge amount of time reflecting and discussing with those closest with me, I feel that it is the right time to move aside in order to focus on my club football and prolonging that journey."

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