Sports

Aug 052016
 
James Milner scored his only international goal against Moldova in 2014

England and Liverpool midfielder James Milner has retired from international football.

The former Manchester City man, 30, won 61 caps for England after making his senior debut in 2009.

He was a squad member at two World Cups and two European Championships but played just three minutes at Euro 2016.

“The decision we’ve reached is about common sense. I wish Sam [Allardyce], the players, staff and supporters success in the future,” Milner said.

Milner also holds the record for the most capped England Under-21 player, picking up 46 caps after making his first appearance in 2004.

He scored his first, and only, international goal in England’s 5-0 victory over Moldova at the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

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Manchester City finished fourth in the Premier League last season

Manchester City will face Romanian side Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League play-off round.

Scottish champions Celtic will meet Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva while Irish champions Dundalk have been drawn against Poland’s Legia Warsaw.

Celtic beat Kazakh side FC Astana in the third qualifying round, while Dundalk were 3-1 aggregate victors over Belarusian side Bate Borisov.

The two-legged play-off ties will be held on the 16/17 and 23/24 August.

New City boss Pep Guardiola has won the Champions League twice as a manager – with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.

The Spaniard has lost in the semi-finals of the competition in each of the past four seasons, once with Barca and three times with Bayern Munich.

City are looking to compete in the group stages of the competition for the sixth successive season.

Steaua, who won the European Cup in 1986 and were runners-up in 1989, finished second to Astra Giurgiu in the Romanian top flight.

City sporting director Txiki Begiristain said: “It’s going to be a difficult tie because Steaua are on the up again in Europe and have a lot of talent.”

Elsewhere, 2004 winners Porto face a tough tie against Italian side Roma, and 1995 winners Ajax will play Russian side Rostov.

The winners of the ties will progress to the Champions League group stage while the losers will drop into the Europa League.

Full draw

Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) v FC Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic)

Celtic (Scotland) v Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel)

FC Copenhagen (Denmark) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus)

Dundalk (Republic of Ireland) v Legia Warsaw (Poland)

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) v FC Salzburg (Austria)

Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Manchester City (England)

FC Porto (Portugal) v Roma (Italy)

Ajax (Netherlands) v Rostov (Russia)

Young Boys (Switzerland) v Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

Villarreal (Spain) v Monaco (France)

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Muhamed Besic has never scored a competitive goal for Everton

Everton midfielder Muhamed Besic has been ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

The 23-year-old Bosnia international, who joined the Toffees in July 2014, was injured while playing against Manchester United in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial on Wednesday.

The former Ferencvaros player made 17 appearances for the Goodison Park side last season.

He tweeted: