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Swiss football captain Alex Frei to quit

Football star Alex Frei says he will abandon international play and leave the Swiss national team at the end of the current season.

The Swiss Football Association said on Thursday that the 31-year-old striker and captain of the national team would compete in his last international match on June 4, 2011, against England.

“I regret Alex’s plans to withdraw from the national team very much because we are losing one of the most experienced and most successful players in recent years and the most threatening Swiss striker of all time,” head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said.

Frei, who plays for FC Basel, was booed off the pitch by fans unhappy with his performance during a national match in October against Wales in the qualifying rounds for the Euro 2012 tournament. As he walked off he made gestures with his hands suggesting he had had enough.

“In my decision I considered many positive wishes, requests and tips from everyone who encouraged me to continue with the national team,” Frei said. “At the same time, I took into consideration signals from those groups that lately have made no secret of their opinion that my time with the national team was up.”

Frei has appeared in 40 national competitions and in 2007 was named Swiss Player of the Year. He fell recently into dry spell, going seven matches without scoring.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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