Craig Bellamy reveals he will retire from Wales next week

The final two World Cup qualifiers will be the Cardiff City striker's last for the national team

Craig Bellamy will bring down the curtain on his Wales career with the World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Belgium.

The 34-year-old Cardiff striker had previously stated he could not see himself playing a part in the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, but had also added the caveat that it was possible he could change his mind.

There had also been suggestions next month's friendly with Finland would end up being his final game in a red shirt, but Bellamy will bow out after next Tuesday's clash in Brussels.

He said: "This is the last week of my Wales career, I will not play in November.

"To play 70-odd times has been the best, even with the disappointments, the lows and the times I did not want to play again, because defeats can do that to you.

"But to have the honour of going out and singing the anthem 70-odd times...it's different, it's the best and I hope I get the chance to do it on Friday and again on Tuesday."

Bellamy is the equal third most-capped player in Welsh history, and will win his 77th cap against Macedonia on Friday in what will be his final home appearance, which will fittingly take place in his hometown of Cardiff.

Bellamy admits it has been a tough decision to end his 15-year international career, but feels he has to do the right thing for the current squad.

"I am just grateful for every game I have been lucky enough to play for my country and I really mean that. It's an honour to play for your country at any level and in any sport. When you get the opportunity to do it 70-odd times it is hard to let go.

"I can't tell you how I will feel playing my final home game on Friday. The emotion of it will probably hit me more later on, when I am watching the team, but I have to do what is best for the national team and this group of players are the future.

"The next qualifying campaign is another two years. I am not going to see it, and for this group of players, with the talent they have, to have the best shot, I have to cut myself short and I have to be realistic."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003