Sheffield United legend Phil Jagielka explains retirement decision after Everton, Derby, Stoke spells

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Sheffield United legend Phil Jagielka calls time on career after 805 appearances for club and country

Phil Jagielka, the Sheffield United legend, has explained his decision to retire after a magnificent career that saw him play over 800 times for club and country. The 41-year-old was released by Stoke at the end of last season and has called time on a playing career that began at Bramall Lane almost a quarter of a century ago.

Jagielka came through the ranks at Bramall Lane and helped the Blades into the Premier League before joining Everton in a £4m deal in the summer of 2007. The England international spent 12 years at Goodison Park before returning to South Yorkshire after the Blades returned to the top flight, spending two further years with United before being released.

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He won 40 England caps, scoring three goals, and was a member of the Euro 2012 and 2014 World Cup squads. Speaking about his retirement decision, Jagielka said: "As you can tell by the timing, I've tried to put myself out there for a little bit longer to see if anyone fancied giving me an opportunity to extend it, but they didn't and I understand that.

"I'm super proud of myself to play at 40. If you'd have sat me down as a 15 or 16-year-old kid after being told I wasn't good enough and then fast forward telling me I'd scored at 40, played at 40 and had the career I've had then I don't think I can have too many complaints."

United sent a message to their former defender via their official Twitter account after the news was confirmed, posting: "Congratulations on an amazing career, Jags!"

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