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Keeper Paul Robinson retires from England duty

Friendly international: England v Hungary
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Wednesday, 11 August 2010 Kick-off: 2000 BST Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live and ITV 1

Paul Robinson playing for England

Robinson in action for England at 2006 World Cup (UK users only)

Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson has pulled out of the England squad for Wednesday's friendly with Hungary and retired from international football.

The 30-year-old played at the 2006 World Cup but had drifted off the scene until his recall for this game.

"Only now have I been able to make this decision as previously I haven't been in contention for selection," he said.

"I don't see myself as a number three or four keeper and find that role very frustrating."

The former Leeds and Tottenham goalkeeper made his England debut in 2003 against Australia and won 41 caps, including playing in all five of England's games at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

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But he paid the price for costly errors as England failed to reach Euro 2008, most famously failing to connect with a Gary Neville back pass which resulted in an own goal in the 2-0 defeat in Croatia.

His last appearance for England was a 2-1 defeat against Russia in 2007, where he could only palm a long-range shot into Roman Pavlyuchenko's path to set up Russia's winning goal.

Robinson was not selected by England for two years after that, and only earned a recall to the squad when David James was injured for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra.

Since moving to Blackburn two years ago, he seemed to have rediscovered his form, saving two penalties in a Carling Cup shoot-out win over Chelsea as Blackburn reached the semi-finals of the competition.

Rovers manager Sam Allardyce touted him for a place in this summer's World Cup squad, but having fallen behind the more experienced James and the younger Joe Hart and Robert Green in the international pecking order, he was never a likely contender for a place in the party.

Paul Robinson
Robinson's worst England moment came against Croatia in 2006

Allardyce says he fully understands why Robinson has declined Capello's invitation to join up with the England squad once more.

"For the time being, England will miss him," said Allardyce. "They missed him in the World Cup because he should have gone there. He feels that if he isn't going to be number one, then he doesn't feel the need to be travelling with England.

"As my player, I support him because I see him week in, week out and know how well he has performed. It's a big decision he's made, but I understand it."

Robinson was named in England coach Fabio Capello's first squad since the disappointment of South Africa, but with Hart and Ben Foster also included - and more likely starters - Robinson has announced his decision.

"I haven't had the opportunity of anything other than [not being first choice] in recent years therefore I feel it is in the best interest of myself and my club Blackburn Rovers that I concentrate solely on my club football."

The news is an embarrassment for Capello as he looks to make a fresh start after the let-down of South Africa, but the Football Association says it has no plans to replace Robinson in the squad.

England's World Cup dream is over

England's World Cup dream is over



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see also
Uncapped trio in England overhaul
07 Aug 10 |  Football
Capello sorry for England debacle
07 Aug 10 |  Football
England stars off 'Capello Index'
20 Jul 10 |  Football
Where do England go from here?
14 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
England U21s leave out Wilshere
05 Aug 10 |  Football
Capello to remain as England boss
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello to have aide by September
19 Jul 10 |  Football
Capello named new England manager
14 Dec 07 |  Internationals


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