Craig Bellamy to retire from Wales duty after World Cup campaign
Craig Bellamy has confirmed he will quit international football after Wales' final World Cup qualifiers.
Last Updated: 08/10/13 1:54pm
The 34-year-old, who goes into the forthcoming double-header against Macedonia and Belgium with 76 caps, was widely expected to call it a day before the start of qualifying for Euro 2016.
And next Tuesday's game in Brussels will bring down the curtain on a 15-and-a-half-year international career which began with a substitute appearance against Jamaica at Cardiff's old Ninian Park home.
"This is the last week of my Wales career, I will not play in November," he said.
"To play 70-odd times has been the best, even with the disappointments, the lows and the times I did not want to play again, because defeats can do that to you.
"But to have the honour of going out and singing the anthem 70-odd times...it's different, it's the best and I hope I get the chance to do it on Friday and again on Tuesday.
"I am just grateful for every game I have been lucky enough to play for my country and I really mean that.
"I can't tell you how I will feel playing my final home game on Friday. The emotion of it will probably hit me more later on, when I am watching the team, but I have to do what is best for the national team and this group of players are the future.
"The next qualifying campaign is another two years. I am not going to see it, and for this group of players, with the talent they have, to have the best shot, I have to cut myself short and I have to be realistic."
Bellamy will quit Wales as his country's third-most capped player behind Neville Southall and Gary Speed.