Steven Defour has taken the tough decision to quit international football to prolong his playing career.
Burnley’s Belgian midfielder will miss this summer’s World Cup in Russia following a knee operation in January.
And after earning 52 caps for his country, and taking into consideration past injuries, Defour has opted to call time on his international career.
Defour said: “There are a few reasons for my decision, but the main one is that I have had some serious injuries in my career in my past, and I want to play as long as possible.
“At some point you have to make a choice to play fewer years and still continue to be available for the national team, or play longer, and that means quitting international football.
“I have really enjoyed and been honoured to play for my country, but to be honest I was not a regular in the starting line-up.
“I was in many squads, but not playing every time, so that also puts you in mind that you can use that time better, during international breaks, to get your body back in shape and for club football.”
Defour, who has been splitting his rehabilitation between England and back home in Belgium, recently returned to Turf Moor to pick up a goal of the season trophy at the club’s annual Player of the Year awards.
And the 30-year-old is looking forward to being fully-fit for pre-season as the Clarets gear up for their inaugural Europa league campaign in late July.
He said: “I am feeling good and I’ll be back in Burnley at the beginning of June to finalise my rehab and that will be the final part to get ready for pre-season.”