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Mark Bresciano retires from international football after 84 matches for Australia

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SYDNEY — Midfielder Mark Bresciano announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday after 84 appearances for Australia, including three World Cup tournaments and its recent win at the Asian Cup.

The 35-year-old Bresciano plays for Al-Gharafa in the Qatar Stars League, where he signed a three-year contract in 2012. He plans to continue playing for the Qatar club side.

Bresciano made his debut for the Socceroos in a 1-0 victory over reigning World Cup champions France at the 2001 Confederations Cup.

Among his 13 international goals was the one which sent the World Cup qualifier against Uruguay to a penalty shootout which Australia won to secure a place at the 2006 tournament; its first appearance at a World Cup in 32 years.

PHOTO: FILE - In this May 21, 2014 file photo, Mark Bresciano laughs during a press conference in Gosford , north of Sydney, Australia. Midfielder Mark Bresciano announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 after 84 appearances for Australia, including three World Cup tournaments and its recent win at the Asian Cup. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)
FILE - In this May 21, 2014 file photo, Mark Bresciano laughs during a press conference in Gosford , north of Sydney, Australia. Midfielder Mark Bresciano announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 after 84 appearances for Australia, including three World Cup tournaments and its recent win at the Asian Cup. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith, File)

His club career included 12 years in Italy with four clubs, including Parma from 2002-2006.

Bresciano said he decided on his retirement last weekend, and called Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou to tell him.

"It is with an element of sadness but a lot of pride that I have decided to retire from the Socceroos," Bresciano said. "I have been fortunate enough to wear the Socceroo shirt at every major football tournament, meet some tremendous people, shared the highs and lows with some great players, and capped it all off by helping us win the 2015 Asian Cup."

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop said the FFA would consult Bresciano about how to publicly celebrate his career.

"Mark Bresciano retires from the international arena amongst our greats," Gallop said. "His on-field career has seen him excel on the biggest stages in world football but it is his unassuming nature and pursuit of excellence that is a testament to (him)."

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