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Emile Heskey Quits International Football

Posted on July 16, 2010 by Thomas Rooney

Emile Heskey has called it quits as an international player.

So after 62 caps and just seven goals, Emile Heskey has decided to retire from international football (soccer).

The Aston Villa man has never been a fan favourite and many Three Lions supporters suggested his poor goal scoring record meant he did not deserve his place in the side.

However, manager after manager kept faith with him and he went to the last World Cup as one of the side’s most experienced players.

For his part, Heskey has no qualms about his England career but, at the age of 32, he has finally decided to call it a day.

He said: “I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride when selected.”

“I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the FA and the fans for all their support over the years.”

If he’d taken the decision a couple of years ago, he would have saved his Fabio Capello a tough choice. Heskey is very much a footballers’ footballer and Wayne Rooney loved playing with him.

However, the Villa man was never the complete package and although his work as a target man was often first rate, his finishing let him down.

True, he wasn’t as bad as some fans would have you believe, Heskey certainly helped bring the best out in Rooney.

But he was always going to come into flack for spurning chances and this was underlined when he missed a good opportunity against the USA at this year’s World Cup. Having said that, it’s highly unlikely anyone would have put a free online bet on him being top scorer at the tournament.

Ultimately, Heskey’s long international career reflects a dearth of talent in the English game. He won 62 caps because there was no one who could play the target man role and finish. You can’t blame the Villa man for that.

It remains to be seen what will happen next. Villa’s Premier League odds suggest they will be challenging for Europe again next season, but Heskey was out of favour in 2009/10 and could have to move on.

At international level at least the decision should open the door for Peter Crouch. Whether he’ll be able to do any better is open to question.

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