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By ESPN Staff

Viduka considers international retirement

Mark Viduka is contemplating retiring from international football - for the sake of his children.

The 30-year-old Middlesbrough striker captained Australia in their assault on this summer's World Cup in Germany, his country's first finals appearance for 32 years.

Viduka spearheaded their march to the second round, where the Socceroos were controversially beaten by a stoppage-time Italy penalty.

Now, with his World Cup dream over, Viduka is considering bowing out of the international game, and he expects a number of his team-mates to follow suit before the next tournament.

'I think there will be a few leaving,' he told Middlesbrough's official website. 'Everyone is getting older and they all have families. I'll be nearly 35 come 2010.

'I haven't seen much of my kids for six months, they don't know who their dad is anymore and that is very hard to take.

'I love being with my family and I love being with this family [the Socceroos] as well.

'I'm going to have a chat with my friends and family and maybe to myself a bit and see where it takes me.'

Viduka has also been linked with a move away from the Riverside, where he has spent the past two seasons.