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John O'Shea on Ireland retiring and how he almost joined Celtic before Man United


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Last night, long-time Ireland defender John O'Shea announced that he's retiring from international football with a final outing to come on June 2nd against the USA at Aviva Stadium.

As that final farewell arrives on the horizon, the Sunderland defender took time out to chat to former team-mate Kevin Kilbane on the Football Show about his decision and what the future holds for him. 

On his conversation with Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, he said: "We were both aware that I wasn't going to be going on for the next campaign and the ideal scenario was to get to Russia and make the squad for Russia. That would have obviously been the plan if everything had gone OK. But once that was out of the way, I just wanted to get the season out of the way and then I'd met Martin and spoken to him a couple of times and he had said to me, 'Look, what about we go for a game as captain in the last home game against USA' and I thought that would be a nice way to finish things up."

While his international career is coming to an end, he will still play on at club level. 

"Wait and see," he said in regards to his own contract situation at Sunderland, who have been relegated to League One.

"I'm out of contract at the end of June and it's just a wait and see but look, when I signed the contract last season with Sunderland, I kind of thought we'll see how the body copes and obviously you want to play as much as you can and compete and be competitive. I probably played more than I maybe thought during the season." 

As for highs and lows during his international career, on the latter, not playing in a World Cup was one downside.

"Missing out on the World Cup would obviously be a bit of a sickener but look I've been blessed to get to major tournaments with Ireland."

He also spoke about almost signing for Celtic as a teenager before Manchester United signed him off the back of an excellent showing in a youth tournament for Ireland.

"More than likely I was going to be sign for Celtic straight away, probably, after that tournament but then that's when Manchester United saw me play up in that tournament," he said, before paying tribute to his former Ireland and Man United team-mate Liam Miller who passed away earlier this year.


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