Akinfeev calls time on his international career

The veteran Russian goalkeeper's last international appearance was at this year's World Cup quarterfinal, against Croatia.

Akinfeev's acrobatic stop which helped Russia progress to the World Cup quarterfinals, beating Spain in the round of 16.   -  AFP

CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, Russia's World Cup team captain, announced Monday he was retiring from international football after playing 111 times for his country.

Akinfeev, 32, said after 15 years with the national side he had decided to give way to his younger colleagues and to focus completely on his club duties.

“Every story has its beginning and its end. So, my story with the national team has come came to its logical conclusion,” he said in a statement on CSKA's site.

“It was a great honour for me to captain Russia's national side at the home World Cup. I haven't even dreamt it could happen. But it has happened and it has probably been the peak of my career.

Read: Leno determined to take Arsenal chance after Cech injury

“I leave with a clear conscience. A young and promising generation (of players) appeared in Russia,” he added. “We must believe in our youth and support them.”

At the World Cup, Akinfeev played every minute of Russia's matches as it confounded pre-tournament predictions by reaching the last eight, where it was beaten by the eventual finalist Croatia in a penalty shootout.

Akinfeev saved a penalty from Iago Aspas in the last-16 shootout against Spain that secured Russia a place in the quarterfinals.

He made his debut for Russia in 2004. He was a member of the national squad which reached the last four round of the 2008 European championship and played for Russia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :