Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international footballGetty

England captain Steven Gerrard has retired from international football to prolong his Liverpool career.

Gerrard made 114 appearances for his country after being handed his debut at the age of 19 by Kevin Keegan in a 2-0 win over Ukraine at Wembley in May 2000.

He represented the Three Lions at six major tournaments and scored 21 goals in total.

"I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won't pull on the England shirt again," Gerrard said.

"I'd also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England Managers I've played under to the staff at The FA and, of course, all the players I've been fortunate to play alongside.

"In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results."

One of Steven Gerrard's most memorable performances was in the 5-1 defeat of Germany in September 2001Getty

England manager Roy Hodgson praised Gerrard's contribution for his country.

"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," Hodgson added.

The 34-year-old added that Liverpool's Champions League qualification was a decisive factor in swaying his him towards retirement.

Gerrard's first tournament came under Kevin Keegan when he was part of the England squad for Euro 2000. It was the first of three UEFA European Championship Finals he would play a part in, with Portugal in 2004 and Ukraine and Poland in 2012.

He played in three World Cup Finals, in Germany in 2006 and then as captain for both South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. In all Gerrard played 12 World Cup Finals matches, scoring three goals.

Occasionally criticised for not replicating his Liverpool form in an England shirt, he was nonetheless twice voted England's Player of the Year in 2007 and 2012.

His international career came to an ignominous conclusion at the World Cup in Brazil when England could only muster one point as they were dumped out of the tournament at the group stages.