Retirement beckons for Bellamy

Craig Bellamy believes it is the right time for him to step down from Wales duty and may retire at the end of the season.

Last Updated: 08/09/13 at 23:21 Post Comment

Bellamy: Discussed retirement

Bellamy: Discussed retirement

Craig Bellamy believes it is the right time for him to step down from Wales duty and suggested he could retire from all forms of the game at the end of the current season.

The 34-year-old won his 75th cap for his country in Friday's disappointing 2-1 defeat in Macedonia and is set to win just three more after stating he would stand down when the current World Cup qualifying campaign ends in Belgium next month.

Despite a frustrating Group A effort which has yielded just two wins, both against Scotland, from seven games, Bellamy believes the future is bright for Wales with talents of the calibre of Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Jonathan Williams to call on.

But the Cardiff forward, while not completely ruling out a change of heart, is not tempted to prolong his Dragons career for one more campaign as he wants to spend more time with his children.

He also revealed he may step down from all football when his current contract ends following the culmination of his club's maiden Premier League campaign.

When asked if he could yet continue playing for Wales, Bellamy said: "I don't think that's going to be possible. I know I said I would not retire from international football and I really want this group to succeed.

"But it's a two-year period to qualify and if I start (the campaign) then step aside, it is robbing someone else of two or four matches, of vital experience, and they would miss out as well.

"That's the way I'm looking at it. I honestly think Wales have a great chance of doing something but I've thought about it really hard.

"It's difficult. I'm a single parent now and I'm having such a battle to see my kids on a daily basis. It's so hard.

"Then, being away for 10 days, I'm not the only dad who has to go through it, but if you have experienced it, then you would understand."

He added: "My mood does change...I know I could change what I'm thinking.

"But the way I'm feeling now, it could be my last season in football.

"I have so much to look forward to after football. Life isn't just about football. The adventure starts when you finish and I'm looking forward to that.

"I've been playing at a professional level for 17, 18 years now and there's more to life. I love the game, don't get me wrong, I've cherished every moment of it."

But Bellamy would welcome the chance to go into management once he hangs up his boots for good.

He said: "I've got my A licence already, then I'm doing my pro-licence.

"After that, I'm going to travel around the world - Spain, Argentina - and learn my craft. I don't just want to go in and mess about. When I go in, I'm going to be prepared and I'm going to stay in."

Wales had Gareth Bale, the world's most expensive player, among their ranks in Macedonia and the attention that comes with that status were shown when two fans appeared to try to hug the forward as he warmed up at half-time, before he pushed them away.

The responsibility for security at the Philip II Arena lay with Macedonia, but the Football Association of Wales has admitted it may have to adapt its own security measures to cope with the spotlight the new Real Madrid signing, who looks set to be on the bench again against Serbia on Tuesday, will face.

Bellamy said: "It's new for us. We have had Ryan Giggs, but this is a little bit different.

"It's a great time for us to market our country and tell everyone about the good things we have.

"It's not everyday that you can boast the world's most expensive player as one of yours. As a group of players we will try to look after him.

"He's a great lad and we are learning as we go.

"I've seen it with Giggsy a bit. This is different. It's great because of the recognition our nation will get."


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