James McClean will make the last of his 103 appearances for the Republic of Ireland against New Zealand on Tuesday night.
The Derry native made his international debut over 11 years ago and became a key player for the Boys in Green.
McClean is set for a rousing send-off at the Dublin venue, with over 41,000 tickets sold for the match, according to the FAI.
Speaking at a press conference this week, the Wrexham player said: “I will be honest with you, it’s not because of my body, or I feel my ability has diminished. I still feel as fit as ever. I still believe I am the best person for the role.
“I have never doubted myself. I played 46 games out of 46 in the Championship last season, 45 of them starts. Ability-wise, I was second for full-backs in goals and assists, and for most successful tackles in the whole league.
“There’s other factors. I have personal reasons and my own reasons for stepping away, I feel now is the right time to step aside.
“Let others come through, I’ve had my time. For me now is the perfect time to step away. I have no regrets.”
Here's all you need to know about James McClean:
Who is James McClean?
James McClean is a professional footballer from Derry. He currently plays for Wrexham.
How old is James McClean?
James was born on April 22, 1989, making him 34 years old.
International and Club Career
James initially represented the North at a number of junior levels, but ultimately decided to represent the Republic of Ireland at senior level.
Republic of Ireland vs Gibraltar on June 19, 2023 saw James earn his 100th cap for the team.
Away from his international career, James has played for a number of top teams in Ireland and the UK.
His career began with Institute in 2007, before moving on to Derry City.
From there, James signed for Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City before returning to Wigan Athletic and on to Wrexham, where he currently plays.
Since joining the Premier League in 2012, McClean has gained attention both negative and positive for his ongoing refusal to wear football shirts with the symbol of the remembrance poppy while playing games on or around Remembrance Day in the UK.
James says his objection to wearing the poppy comes down to being from Derry and the role of the British Army in Bloody Sunday and the Troubles.
The footballer grew up on the Creggan estate, where six of the men shot dead on Bloody Sunday in 1972 came from.
He previously stated that his position is one of peace, not because he is "anti-British" and that he would wear the poppy if it honoured only soldiers who died in the World Wars, many of whom were Irish.
James' stance on the issue has seen him be both condemned and supported by other footballers and pundits.
He has repeatedly found himself the target of anti-Irish and sectarian abuse, with jeers and shouts being sent from crowds.
Family life with wife and children
James is married to wife Erin, who he first started dating in 2010 and together they have four children.
The couple got married in 2016, in their hometown of Derry and are parents to Allie May, James Jr, Willow Ivy and newborn Mia Rose - who was born back in February.
James revealed he was autistic earlier this year during Autism Awareness.
The footballer decided to get tested after noticing similarities between himself and four-year-old daughter Willow Ivy, who is also autistic.
Sharing a statement to Instagram at the time, James wrote: "As you all know, my daughter Willow Ivy is autistic.
"The last 4 years have been life changing in the most amazing way but also very difficult at times as her daddy watching her overcome so many obstacles in her life and learning how to manage the challenges she faces on a daily basis.
"The more Erin and I learned about autism the more we began to recognise I was very similar to Willow in more ways than we thought.
"I see so many small traits in her that I see in myself. So I decided to go and get an ASD assessment.
"It’s been a bit of a journey and now having a diagnosis I feel it’s time to share it, for the week that’s in it.
"I have debated for a while going public in sharing this as I’ve done this for Willow Ivy, to let her know that I understand and that being autistic wont and should never hold her back from reaching her goals and dreams."
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