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Russia captain, Akinfeev retires from international football

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is retiring from international soccer after leading the national side as captain to this year’s World Cup quarterfinals on home soil.
The 32-year-old CSKA Moscow player’s acrobatic penalty saves captivated home crowds and helped Russia to their best tournament finish since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“There is a beginning and an end to every story,” Akinfeev was quoted as saying on CSKA’s website. “My story with the national team has also reached its logical end.”
Akinfeev earned 112 caps for his country since his debut in 2004 as an 18-year-old, according to the Russian Football Union.
The highlight of his international career came at this year’s World Cup hosted by Russia.
“It was a great honour for me to lead the Russian team as captain at the World Cup,” he said.
 “Honestly I couldn’t have dreamt of it. But it happened and probably was the peak of my career with the national team.”
Akinfeev played a key role in helping his team reach the quarter-finals, where they lost 4-3 to Croatia in a penalty shootout.

 

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