Cavani announces retirement from international football

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani strikes the ball during the Copa America football tournament quarter-final match against Peru at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil, on 29 June, 2019AFP

Uruguayan attacker Edinson Cavani announced Thursday the end of his international career at the age of 37.

Known as "El Matador", Cavani is Uruguay's second all-time leading scorer and third most-capped player, with 58 goals in 136 appearances.

"I have been and always will be blessed to have pulled on this shirt to represent what I love most in the world, my country," he said in a message on social media, dedicated to his "beloved Celeste" (the nickname of the Uruguayan national team).

"I want to dedicate myself to this new stage of my career and give everything I have to where I need to be.

"Today I've decided to retire, but I'll always follow you with my heart pounding, just like when I played in that beautiful shirt."

Cavani made his debut for Uruguay in 2008 and represented his country at four World Cups -- the first of which in 2010, he reached the semi-finals and was voted the tournament's best player.

His crowning glory in sky blue, however, was a 2011 Copa America triumph in neighbouring Argentina.

Formerly of Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, Cavani currently plays for Argentinian club Boca Juniors.