Jason Demetriou has announced his retirement from international football.
Demetriou, who qualified to play for Cyprus through his grandfather, made a total of 51 appearances spanning 11 years on the international stage, going up against some of the best players in the world.
14 of those came as a Southend player, making him the club’s most capped international player.
And having reached the heights of captaining his country, Demetriou says now is the right time to bring that to an end to prolong his club career.
“It was a tough decision because I always loved going away,” said Demetriou. “With the situation with my knee hopefully I can prolong my career at club level by doing this.
“It’s a hard decision but I think it’s one that’s right for me, my family and the club as well.
“If someone said to me at the start I’d be playing against some of the players I faced I wouldn’t have believed it. We played Bale, Ronaldo, Hazard, some of the best players.
“I was really lucky with some of the draws we got. We were always competitive, and it was never embarrassing. It was a dream come true to play against players of that stature.”
His debut came against Serbia in 2009 and his last against Scotland in 2019, as he captained the side towards the end of his international career.
“Towards the end I was captain a few times too which was a huge honour. Whoever has the most caps in the team gets to be the captain and in the last campaign I got to captain some good games.
“I feel privileged to have done it and to have had those kind of opportunities to have done that in my career.”