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Santa Cruz announces international football retirement

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Roque Santa Cruz

ASUNCION (Reuters) – Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz, a veteran of three World Cups, announced on Tuesday he will retire from international football after their qualifiers against Peru and Bolivia.

The 35-year-old, who is winding down his career at his first club Olimpia, was included in coach Francisco Arce’s squad for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Peru in Asuncion on Thursday and away to Bolivia in La Paz next Tuesday.

Santa Cruz, who has played for clubs including Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Real Betis, Malaga and Cruz Azul is Paraguay’s top scorer with 32 goals in 111 appearances..

He said he would like to play in these two qualifiers but the decision rested with Arce, who was his international team mate at the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.

Paraguay, who failed to reach the 2014 finals in Brazil, are seventh in the 10-nation South American group with 15 points from 10 matches, six points behind leaders Brazil.

The top four qualify for the tournament finals in Russia with the fifth-placed team going into an intercontinental playoff.

Source by: Internet

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