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Koumas announces Wales retirement

Jason Koumas
Jason Koumas is the latest high-profile players to retire from Wales

Wales and Wigan midfielder Jason Koumas has retired from international football at the age of 29.

The playmaker informed Wales boss John Toshack of his decision after revealing he would miss Wednesday's World Cup qualifier with Russia in Cardiff.

The Football Association of Wales insisted the decision was "amicable" and that Toshack "wished Jason well".

Koumas made his Wales debut against Ukraine in 2001 and scored 10 goals in his 34 international appearances.

The former Tranmere, West Brom and Cardiff player, who won his first cap as a substitute in a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Kiev, would almost certainly have retired ahead of next year's Euro 2012 qualifiers.

But, with only away games with Finland and Liechtenstein to follow the Russia game in qualifying Group Four, he has decided now is the time to step down after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.

His last Wales appearance was a 2-0 defeat by Finland at the Millennium Stadium in March.

Koumas is the latest Wales international to quit the national team since Toshack replaced Mark Hughes in 2004.

Robbie Savage quit Wales following a public war-of-words with Toshack but Ryan Giggs, Carl Fletcher, Paul Parry and Carl Robinson have all turned their back on the international arena in a bid to extend their club career.

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The Wrexham-born Koumas, who has endured an often troubled international career, has told Toshack he wants to concentrate on his club commitments and claims he is an integral part to Wigan boss Roberto Martinez's plans.

Toshack was a huge admirer of Koumas but dropped him a few months ago when he was not playing regularly in the Premier League.

His commitment to Wales has been called into question given he has played in fewer than half of the 75 Welsh internationals since his debut.

He has also failed to play an international match outside the United Kingdom for two-and-a-half years between September 2005 and March 2008.

However, his technical ability has often been hailed by managers - and current club boss Martinez recently dubbed him a "genius".

Koumas was arguably man of the match in Wales' Euro 2004 play-off goalless draw in Russia and also sparkled in internationals against lesser opponents thanks to his vision, passing and influence.

But he was unable to exert the same influence in many of Wales' big qualifiers against major international teams.

His exit comes at a time when Wales boast strong midfield resources.

Simon Davies, currently recovering from foot surgery, Joe Ledley, Jack Collison, Aaron Ramsey, David Edwards, Andy King and Joe Allen all provide Toshack with strength-in-depth in their key area.



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see also
Wales 1-3 Russia
09 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Martinez hails 'magician' Koumas
13 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Wales' older stars set for chop
28 May 09 |  Internationals
Wales deny Koumas retirement talk
02 Apr 09 |  Welsh
Koumas pulls out of Russia trip
08 Sep 08 |  Wales
Wigan complete signing of Koumas
10 Jul 07 |  Wigan
Toshack delight at Koumas display
15 Nov 06 |  West Brom
Wales leave out Koumas and Coyne
23 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Koumas disciplined by West Brom
14 Jul 06 |  West Brom
West Brom put Koumas up for sale
13 May 05 |  West Brom
Robson gives Koumas second chance
02 Dec 04 |  West Brom
Koumas set to opt for Wales
28 Mar 01 |  Tranmere Rovers
Koumas accepts Wales invitation
15 Mar 01 |  Wales
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The World Game Wales trying their hardest - 5 hrs ago
Wales Online Wales doing the best to deliver says John Toshack - 10 hrs ago
4TheGame Koumas ends Wales career - 35 hrs ago


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