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Dean Saunders
"I just felt the time was right now."
 real 14k

Wales manager Mark Hughes
"It's always a very hard decision to make."
 real 14k

BBC Wales football correspodent
John Hardy refelcts on Saunders' career
 real 14k

Deano's goals
The highlights from his career with Wales
 real 14k

Friday, 18 May, 2001, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Saunders calls it a day
Dean Saunders in action against Ukraine last month
Saunders won his 75th cap against Ukraine last month
Dean Saunders, Wales' most capped outfield player, has announced his retirement from international football.

The 36-year-old Bradford striker won the last of his 75 caps as a replacement in the World Cup qualifier against the Ukraine on the 28 March.

He made his Welsh debut as a 21-year-old against Ireland in 1986, and his scoring record of 22 goals puts him fourth on the all time list behind Ian Rush, Ivor Alchurch and Trevor Ford.

If ever Mark (Hughes) was ever desperate and he needed me I'd always be there to help
  Dean Saunders
Many of those goals proved crucial strikes in various World Cup and European Championships qualifying campaigns.

And no Welsh fan will ever forget his goal which secured a famous 1-0 win over the mighty Brazil in Cardiff in 1991.

"I've enjoyed every minute of it," Saunders said of his career with Wales.

"I've been playing since I was 21, so I think it's time to give someone else a go."

Saunders, who's club career began at Swansea and has taken him to such successful clubs as Liverpool, Benfica and Galatasaray, has not ruled out a comeback on the international stage if ever the call came.

"I still feel fit and strong and I think I can keep on playing club football at a high level for another two years," he said.

"If ever Mark (Hughes) was ever desperate and he needed me I'd always be there to help."

His contribution on and off the field with Wales has been immense
  Mark Hughes on Saunders
Hughes said his retirement would be a great loss to the squad, but he could understand his desire to concentrate on his club football.

"He's had a wonderful international career," said Hughes.

"His contribution on and off the field with Wales has been immense.

"He's a very popular man and he has managed to keep his enthusiasm for the game for such a long time.

"There aren't many people who have these kind of qualities."

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