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1617 burnley steven defour 01 100x500Steven Defour, who was in outstanding form for the Clarets until injury brought his season to an end in January, is now ready to commit exclusively to club football after announcing his retirement from international football.

Defour, who celebrated his 30th birthday in April, took to social media yesterday to confirm his decision. He said on Twitter: “All good things come to an end, Good luck in Russia @BelRedDevils , you can do it! #redtogether”  and accompanied that with a short video message.

He explained: “I have been working hard for the World Cup over the last few months. In the beginning it was quite clear that it would become a mission impossible. That has also come true. I’m not going to the World Cup for obvious reasons.

“I always thought that the World Cup would be one of my last actions as an international. Partly due to some serious injuries I want to practice my career as long as possible and for that I can concentrate everything on club level. I have had a very long career as an international. I had a great time and would like to thank everyone for it, from staff to players and supporters. But there are many players ready and there is a new generation coming. I wish them all the best.”

Defour hinted recently that he is likely to extend his stay at Burnley beyond the end of next season when his contract formally comes to an end, although the club do have a one year option.

Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur said yesterday: “Steven Defour retires as a Belgium international just to focus on Burnley. No official announcement as yet that the club have taken up the option in his contract. He has one year left.”

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