The Malta Independent 17 December 2018, Monday

Andre Schembri announces retirement from national team after Nations League

Albert Galea Tuesday, 13 November 2018, 12:28 Last update: about 2 months ago

Andre Schembri today announced that he will be retiring from the Maltese national team after Malta’s UEFA Nations commitments are completed on 20 November.

Schembri, who is one of the few Maltese senior players who plies his trade abroad, is highly regarded as one of Malta’s best footballing exports of recent years; however at the age of 32 he said that “after a great deal of thought”, the time was right for him to retire from international football.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With over two decades spent within the national team ranks, I feel it is time to stand aside and let the younger players come through. I feel very positive about the new faces being introduced, and it is only right they have the space to flourish”, he said in a statement on his official Facebook page.

The forward continued saying that “at the age of 32, I also find myself a step closer towards the end of my career. Keeping up with the pace is not easy when playing abroad and I need to concentrate on being physically and mentally prepared for these challenges.”

Schembri said that it was a great honour to have represented Malta at every level from U14s right up to senior level, and thanked his family and all supporters, coaches, technical staff, players, the association and all club administrators that he had worked alongside over the past years for what was an incredible journey with the national team.

Schembri currently plies his trade in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol, and has racked up 88 appearances and 3 goals with the senior national team.  He debuted with the national team in June 2006 when Malta lost 1-0 to Japan in a friendly.  Since he has been a mainstay in Malta’s squad, even captaining the national side 7 times in the past two years.

His career, which started with Hibernians and Marsaxlokk, has taken him to countries such as Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Cyprus.  In his current spell with Cypriot heavyweights Apollon Limassol, Schembri has scored 11 goals in 53 games – with 5 goals coming in the Europa League, including a goal in the group stage of the competition against Italian side Atalanta.

Schembri will retire after Malta’s commitments in the UEFA Nations League ends next week.  Malta will face the Kosovo on 17 November and the Faroe Islands on 20 November, with both games taking place at the National Stadium in Ta’ Qali.  Malta have so far garnered two points in the competition, with draws against Azerbaijan in both the home and away fixtures of the group.

Photo Domenic Aquilina

  • don't miss