By Shane Jones
Bundaberg’s most successful Socceroos has announced he won’t be playing for his country anymore.
But he will still be playing club football.
Mitch Langerak earlier this week announced that he is retiring from the Socceroos and has asked not to be selected in any squad.
The Socceroos next month will play four World Cup qualifiers to finish the second round of qualifying, which has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia has not played an international match since 14 November, 2019.
Langerak, after his form with Nagoya Grampus in the J-League, was expected to be at the minimum picked in the squad to play for the Socceroos in the matches.
His record, which included 17 clean sheets last season as a goalkeeper, a record in the competition and his start this season had led to calls he should be the number one goalkeeper for Australia.
But Langerak ended any chance of that with a post on his social media, announcing his end to international duty.
“After much thought and consideration I have today (13 May) decided to step away from international football with the Socceroos,” he posted.
“It has been an extremely difficult decision to make because I have loved every minute of representing my country.”
Langerak said the decision was made in the best interests of his young family and making sure he didn’t travel too much, given the prevalence of covid-19 that is still in the community.
He added there will be plenty of memories from his time as a Socceroo.
“The moments and memories from my time in the Socceroos are something that I will hold onto forever, as are the many friendships I made along the way,” Langerak said.
“Becoming a Socceroo was everything and more that I ever dreamed of as a young boy.
“Singing the Australian national anthem alongside my mates is a feeling that is indescribable – I cherished it every single time and never took for granted. Playing the game you love for the country you love is one of the pinnacles of sport.
“From here on I will continue to wish the players and staff all the success in what will be an extremely challenging path towards the World Cup.”
Langerak made eight appearances for the Socceroos, the most of any Bundaberg player to play for his country.
He also played in one World Cup, 2014, and in the 2015 and 2019 Asian Cup, including the winning squad of the 2015 edition that was held at home.
He will still continue to play for Nagoya Grampus in the J-League.