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Page insists his retirement decision was for the right reasons.

Byline: By TERRY PHILLIPS South Wales Echo

Robert Page today revealed the pain and the heartache behind his sudden decision to retire from international football with Wales. Former Cardiff City defender Page, 32 and from Llwynypia in the Rhondda, will not play for Wales again and made his decision 24 hours after telling the Echo how much he was looking forward to the qualifiers against Slovakia and Cyprus.

'Playing for Wales has been an incredible experience and you won't find a prouder man than Robert Page in doing that,' he says.

'I captained my country against Hungary when Bellers (Craig Bellamy) scored twice in a 2-0 win and that was, for me, the pinnacle of my international career.

'I was pleased that John Toshack included me in the squad, of course, but I know in my heart I would not be playing.

'Wales have such fantastic young talent coming through, like Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Lewin Nyatanga and more.

'I have a young family and my wife is expecting a baby. To spend 10 days away in a hotel and then not play at all would be unbelievably frustrating.

'It sounds like a selfish decision but I don't want to come across like that. I have done it in the right way, I spoke to John Toshack and he knows and understands my reasons.

'I am a proud Welshman and always will be.

'I could have said nothing and come down for the matches against Slovakia and Cyprus.

'But I had to talk it over with John Toshack.

'Now I will focus everything football-wise on playing for Coventry City. I wish John and Wales all the best -and I'll be cheering them every step of their European Championship qualifying path.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 29, 2006
Words:290
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