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Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Veteran duo bow out
Steve Staunton lasted just 49 minutes against Spain
Staunton lasted just 49 minutes against Spain
Steve Staunton and Niall Quinn have retired from international football after the Republic of Ireland's World Cup exit.

The veteran pair decided to bow out following the penalty shoot-out defeat by Spain in Suwon.

"I'm going to hang up my boots on this scene," Staunton told RTE Television.

Open Quote
I thank them publicly for what they have done for Irish football
Close Quote
Mick McCarthy

"There's enough here for Mick (McCarthy) to work with and I don't think my knee could handle a few more years of this to be honest."

Staunton made his international debut against Tunisia in October 1988 and is the only man to have played in every World Cup finals match for Ireland.

The 33-year-old captained the side on his 102nd appearance but was substituted on 49 minutes after picking up a knock.

Quinn came on as a 55th-minute substitute to win the penalty which allowed Robbie Keane to equalise in the final minute of normal time.

"I've had a wonderful time. It has been great while it's lasted but it's over now," said Quinn.

Niall Quinn is consoled by Mick McCarthy
Quinn is consoled by Mick McCarthy

"I've got the rest of my life to lead now but I'm really grateful for having lived the Ireland experience.

"I'm looking forward to bringing my children along to Lansdowne Road and watching top-class football and Ireland qualifying for tournaments for the next 10 years."

The pair's retirement will rob Ireland of experience for the start of the Euro 2004 qualifiers.

But coach McCarthy believes he has enough young talent at his disposal to compensate for the loss.

"I thank them publicly for what they have done for Irish football, for me, for this team and for this World Cup," said McCarthy.

"They have been really inspirational.

"We have lost a couple of players but we've got plenty of young players coming in.

"If we keep going on the roll we're on at the moment, we can qualify for that competition."


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