Ayala retires from national team

Updated: 19 July 2007 08:01 IST

Roberto Ayala, whose own-goal contributed to Argentina's loss to archrival Brazil in the Copa America final, announced his retirement.

Buones Aires:

Roberto Ayala, whose own-goal contributed to Argentina's loss to archrival Brazil in the Copa America final, announced his retirement from the national side on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old defender and team captain confirmed Argentine press reports that he was quitting the national team but said the decision had nothing to do with Sunday's defeat in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

"It's got nothing to do with what happened in the Copa America final," Ayala said, according to Buenos Aires daily Clarin. "I simply believe that cycles come to an end and mine has come to an end."

Ayala ended his international career in a forgettable fashion. His sliding attempt to clear Daniel Alves' cross instead ended up inside the right post of his own net, giving Brazil a 2-0 lead five minutes before halftime.

His career, after making his debut with Argentina in 1994 against Chile ends after 115 caps, the most in Argentine history.

He played in two World Cups, France 1998 and Germany 2006 and won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics.

Topics : Football Argentina
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