Australia captain Mile Jedinak has announced his immediate retirement from international football with the decision of not playing until the 2019 Asian Cup.

The 34-year-old won 79 caps for Australia and represented them in 3 World Cups, two times as their captain. Jedinak, who also led Australia to victory in the 2015 Asian Cup on home soil, scored 20 goals for the Socceroos.

The Aston Villa midfielder posted a lengthy announcement on social media on Monday afternoon explaining his decision. In a post on Instagram, Jedinak explained he wanted to continue his career in club football, where he currently plays for Aston Villa in the Championship.

Jedinak wrote: I can confirm that after much deliberation I have made the decision to retire from playing international football. As a young boy growing up it was my dream to play for Australia and to pull on the famous green and gold shirt to represent my country. To have been given the opportunity to not only fulfill that dream, but to have done it 79 times, and many of which as captain, makes me incredibly proud and thankful”

He ended the statement by saying: “We have an exciting generation of players coming through and now I can’t wait to support the team in the future.”

Jedinak is the 9th most-capped player, a remarkable defensive midfielder with 20 goals, the seventh highest all-time scorer. He was given his debut in March 2008 by Pim Verbeek as part of a test squad against Singapore, in which eight other players were Socceroo debutants.

None went on to have the impact of the softly spoken former Sydney United player, who was ignored by A-League clubs at the league’s foundation in 2005 but went on to carve out a successful club career overseas, most notably in the Premier League with Crystal Palace.

Football Federation Australia Chairman Steven Lowy paid tribute to the outgoing captain, in a release issued Monday evening.

Lowy said: “Mile Jedinak has been a fantastic servant to Australian football over a long period of time and his leadership of the national team has been truly inspirational. He is the only male player in the history of Australian football to captain Australia at two FIFA World Cups and was the first and only Australian captain to lead the Socceroos to an AFC Asian Cup title.

He concluded: On behalf of the Australian football family, I would like to thank Mile for his contribution to the game in Australia and wish him well for the remainder of his club career.”

Australia face Kuwait in 15th October, in what will be Graham Arnold’s first game in charge as coach.

Also read: FIFA World Cup: France Edge Over Australia As VAR Makes History

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