Steven Gerrard's retirement from international football was a decision many thought would happen after England were eliminated from the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and yet the confirmation on Monday afternoon still sent shockwaves throughout the nation.
Gerrard made his debut under Kevin Keegan in 2000 ahead of that year's European Championship in Belgium and Holland. He went on to win 114 caps for England with the final game coming against Costa Rica.
Gerrard played through six different England bosses - beginning with Kevin Keegan and then Peter Taylor (caretaker), Sven Goran-Eriksson, Steve McClaren, Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson - during which time he scored 21 goals.
Here is the press conference in which Gerrard explained his decision via FA TV:
The announcement garnered all kinds of reaction from current and former England stars, as well as one very cheeky cricketer after a rise from his own sport's community:
— England (@england) July 21, 2014
Steven Gerrard has retired from international football. He's been a wonderful servant to his country. A great player who always gave all. — Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) July 21, 2014
ENGLAND CAPTAIN RETIRES "I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country" Steven Gerrard retires from international football.
— Alec Stewart (@StewieCricket) July 21, 2014
Next England captain??? Gerrard has been an incredible player. Surpassing 100caps is some achievement. — Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 21, 2014
Roy Hodgson has had his say on his now-former skipper.
“While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country," he said.
"I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.
“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard.
“He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him. We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players.
“I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward."
Former team-mate Jamie Carragher is confident England's loss will be Liverpool's gain after Gerrard announced his retirement from international football.
Carragher, who played alongside Gerrard for both club and country, believes the 34-year-old midfielder has several more years in his legs as he prepares to embark upon another Champions League campaign with the Merseysiders.
The former defender told Sky Sports News: "Listen, for Liverpool Football Club, it's a great decision. I am sure the Liverpool supporters will be happy.
"You get a fresher Steven Gerrard. He had a great season last season with the demands of England.
"But there will be more demands on Liverpool this season, more expected because of the season they had last year, and Steven Gerrard is still a vital part of Liverpool - and I think he will be for the next two or three years, so for (manager) Brendan Rodgers, it's a great decision by Stevie."
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