Cahill calls time on England career

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has effectively announced his retirement from international football.

Cahill, 32, lost his place in the Chelsea and England’s sides last season and featured only once at the World Cup, against Belgium in the final group match.

He has told England boss Gareth Southgate to only consider selecting him if there is an injury crisis.

“In terms of my international future I think it is time I take a step back,” he told Chelsea TV.

“Now I feel is the right moment to do that, I feel hugely proud of what I have achieved in terms of over 60 caps, I have captained my country on a few occasions which is a huge honour.

[/media-credit] Southgate has been keen to select young players

“I have played pretty solid over the seven or eight years I have been involved – I can see now it is kind of going towards a younger generation.

“For me to take a step back now is the perfect time, but at the same time in your football career you never want to shut a door completely.

“I have been hugely honoured to play for my country and I would never shut the door. If I was ever needed in the future then obviously I’m there.”

Cahill, who has yet to feature for Chelsea under new boss Maurizio Sarri, made his senior England debut in 2010.

He was forced to sit out of Euro 2012 having suffered a broken jaw in a warm-up game.

He would go on to play all of England’s three matches at the 2014 World Cup as well as every minute of the European Championships in France two years later.

“In terms of the next meeting coming up and the friendlies where maybe they are looking at other players, I think it is probably more beneficial for them to be playing than me travelling there,” he said.

“Such is my relationship with the manager, he was fantastic at the end of the tournament, I had a good chat with him and he could see where I was coming from, understood the situation but at the same time I wouldn’t want to totally shut the door.”