After A Record-Breaking 125 Caps For Ireland, Shay Given Quits International Football

Alan Duffy

13th, August 2012


By Alan Duffy

One of the best goalkeepers to ever grace the Premier League, 36-year-old Shay Given has decided to retire from the international game after racking up 125 caps for the Republic of Ireland, a record for the Boys In Green.

The Aston Villa glovesman, oft described (erroneously) as a ‘short goalkeeper’ (he’s 6’1″), wasn’t at his best in Ireland’s disappointing Euro 2012 campaign, and after much thought, decided the time was right to step aside. The Donegal man said:

“I have dedicated 16 years of my life to my county and I have a great affinity with Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad. I’d like to thank the Giovanni, Marco (Tardelli) and Alan Kelly for their support during my time with the team.”

“I will continue to be Ireland’s biggest fan and wish the lads well as they embark upon their new campaign.”

The high-point of Given’s international career was arguably Ireland’s 2002 World Cup campaign, where they reached the last 16 only to be eliminated by Spain in a penalty shoot-out.

The former Newcastle United man will continue to line out for the Villans. However, Given’s retirement leaves the Republic rather short of goalkeeping options. The likes of Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood, Millwall’s David Forde and Motherwell’s Darren Randolph don’t really inspire much confidence, do they? And then there’s big Paddy Kenny to think of – will he return from international exile? And will Giovanni Trapattoni want him to??!

Anyway, here’s a rather tasty save by Given from the great Zinedine Zidane in 2005…

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  1. Zam says:

    Ireland also have the young lad from the NY Red Bulls, Ryan Meara, can’t quite say if that should add to the confidence levels or detract from them….

  2. TAYPOT says:


  3. GJ says:

    Given is the most overrated goalkeeper I’ve ever seen, whereas top keepers know when to come and pluck crosses out of the air, all Given does is stand on his line, allowing free headers that he can spectacularly save 10% of the time. Forget the fancy saves, has he ever consistently kept clean sheets anywhere?

  4. Scott says:

    Shay Given has been a fantastic player for Ireland over the years, often making magnificent saves to keep us in games and get results when we barely deserved it. Shay would probably admit that he wasn’t at his best in Euro 2012. However, Ireland would not have qualified without his contribution particularly in Moscow. Hopefully his gloves can be filled but they are big gloves. Thanks Shay

  5. Del says:

    He’s a great footballer and a great man and I’m sure the Ireland NT will miss him.

  6. Rich says:

    As a geordie I have to reluctantly agree with GJ… he is an exceptional shot stopper, but his organisational skills leave somewhat to be desired.

  7. Adam says:

    Shay Given, the only goalie to ever be man of the match after losing 5-0. I remember the game they played Liverpool, when he was at Newcastle. He was the only reason the game finished just 5-0, but 10-0.

  8. Nicko says:

    @GJ spot on. His retirement will mean that his mediocre performances will be limited to Villa from now on.

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