January 23, 2013
AUCKLAND – All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen has confirmed he will retire from international duty and take up his role as Toronto FC head coach from February 1.
In a statement released today Nelsen confirmed after consideration he had decided to end his playing career with the national team and contacted New Zealand Football to inform them of the decision.
"I spoke with NZF Chairman Frank van Hattum and All Whites coach Ricki Herbert earlier today to personally confirm my decision to retire from international football.
"I wish Ricki and the team all the best in the lead up to the World Cup qualifiers in March, and hopefully, the playoff matches later this year.
"I believe that I leave the team in a good space with quality players able to carry on the recent success the All Whites have enjoyed. Every time I pulled on a New Zealand shirt with the fern on my chest it was a very proud moment for me and I will miss it.
"When you’re not enjoying the playing side as much as other aspects of football, you know it is time to move on. That time is now and I want to commit all my energies into my coaching career with Toronto FC.
"I'd like to take the opportunity to thank New Zealand Football for their support through this decision making process and all the coaches, staff and teammates I have played for and with over my international career.
"I would also like to thank the New Zealand public for the tremendous support they have given me personally throughout my playing career and for their support of the All Whites and football in general."
Nelsen retires with 49 'A' international caps for the All Whites after making his debut in 1999, the last of which came against Tahiti in his hometown of Christchurch in October last year.
The All Whites next FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands are scheduled for March.