Republic of Ireland full-back Steve Finnan has today announced his retirement from international football.

Finnan won 50 caps for the Republic since making his debut in 2000 and took part in all of their World Cup 2002 matches in Korea and Japan.

'I've thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Republic team, with the World Cup in 2002 being the highlight of my international career,' he told the official Liverpool website.

'But I'll be 34 when the next tournament comes around so it's the right time for me to step down.

'There will be a new manager coming in soon who will have his own ideas for the future with younger players having the chance to stake their claim to be in his plans.'