NI star Chris Brunt retires from international football - here's what Michael O'Neill has had to say

Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt has quit international football
Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt has quit international football

Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt has announced his retirement from international football.

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Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill

The Belfast native, who is 33, won 65 caps in a 14-year spell at full international level, scoring three goals.

The West Brom star made his debut in a 0-0 friendly draw away to Switzerland in 2004 and ended his time in a green shirt against the same opposition, with the same scoreline, in the heartbreaking World Cup play-off second-leg game in Basel back in November.

Brunt was a key figure in Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with his delivery from set-pieces playing a crucial role. However, a knee injury meant he missed the chance to play in the finals in France.

“I am disappointed that Chris is retiring as I believe that he still has much to offer the team, however I completely understand his decision to spend a bit more time with his young family and to concentrate fully on his club career with West Brom," Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill told the Irish FA website.

“I want to thank him for everything that he gave me on the pitch. He was a model professional and his contribution to the Northern Ireland team over the past 14 years will be remembered for a long time to come.”