Makelele and Thuram announce their retirement

Two veteran French football players confirmed their international retirement following France's exit from the Euro 2008 competition.


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Veteran France international midfielder Claude Makelele confirmed his international retirement on Tuesday following the 2006 World Cup finalists first round exit from Euro 2008.

The 35-year-old Chelsea star rounded off his 71-cap career in the 2-0 defeat by world champions Italy which left the French bottom of Group C and an early plane home.

"I always said this would be my final competition," said Makelele, who also played for Nantes and Marseille in France.

"I have no regrets at finishing now.

"Most of the decisions I have taken I have always taken 100percent.

"I have sweated for this shirt and it has brought me 100percent happiness, so there are no regrets.

"A new generation can take the reins and come together. I am totally with them," added Makelele, whose international highlight would have been as part of the 2006 World Cup final side that lost on penalties to Italy.

Makalele was not the last to announce his retirement in the aftermath of the match as 36-year-old Lilian Thuram, France's record caps holder with 142 caps, also announced he was calling it a day.

Others such as Patrick Vieira and goalkeeper Gregory Coupet are thought to be considering retiring while even France's record goalscorer with 45 goals, Thierry Henry is thought also to be contemplating, even, though, he is still comparatively young at 30.

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