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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 July, 2004, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Desailly quits France side
France captain Marcel Desailly in training prior to the start of Euro 2004
Desailly made his last appearance for France against Croatia
France captain Marcel Desailly has confirmed his retirement from the international scene.

The 35-year-old made a record 116th appearance for France in the 2-2 draw with Croatia at Euro 2004.

Chelsea defender Desailly told French television station TF1: "I am putting an end to my international career with immediate effect.

"I'm not playing as well as before because I can't run up and down the pitch as much as I used to."

Desailly added: "The end of the road is painful, because in a way, it's the end of so many strong emotions.

"I thank the fans for having supported me for years."

He was part of the France side that won the 1998 World Cup and that also triumphed at Euro 2000.

But Desailly suffered a disappointing Euro 2004 tournament.

He missed the England game through injury and his mistake contributed to Croatia's second goal in the 2-2 draw.

Coach Jacques Santini then dropped the defender for the final group game against Switzerland and the quarter-final against Greece.

Desailly moved to Chelsea in the summer of 1998 following France's successful home World Cup campaign and has been a key member of the squad since.

However, the central defender was kept out of the Chelsea side by John Terry and William Gallas for much of last season.

Desailly, who began his career at Nantes before going on to Marseille then AC Milan in November 1993, extended his contract with Chelsea last summer until 2005.





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