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All Whites captain Winston Reid will have a final farewell in Auckland this weekend. Photo / Photosport
All Whites captain Winston Reid has confirmed he will be retiring from international football after the team’s homecoming game at Eden Park this Sunday.
The former West Ham United defender played 32 times for the national team, nearly half as captain, scoring one memorable goal at the Fifa World Cup 2010 against Slovakia.
He made over 200 appearances for the Hammers including winning their Player of the Year award in 2013. He also had spells with MLS side Sporting Kansas City in 2020 and Brentford FC in 2021 as part of their Premier League promotion-winning run.
Reid is pleased to have the opportunity to end his international career in Aotearoa in the city he was born.
“It is great to have the opportunity to play my final international game in Auckland. It’s going to be nice to come home to the city I grew up in where I first started playing football,” Reid said.
“There’s so many memories that it’s hard to single one out. The World Cup was special for me because I was very young and playing and scoring in it was amazing. It’s something I’ll always be thankful for and grateful for. But I’ve been fortunate enough to have a long career, for both club and country, and captaining the national team has been an honour.”
All Whites head coach Danny Hay praised Reid’s influence on his young side and the pathway he has carved for future generations of Kiwi footballers.
“Winnie is a true legend of New Zealand football who paved the way for future players, along with other legends like Ryan Nelsen, showing that a Kiwi kid could do it at the highest level of the game.
“I’ve really appreciated our time together since I’ve been All Whites head coach. The mana he holds within this group of players is inspiring and I know he is someone the squad have hugely benefited from being around on and off the pitch.”
Hay also revealed that the prospect of a proper farewell, with a rare match on home soil, drove him to keep Reid involved after the crushing disappointment of the intercontinental playoff defeat to Costa Rica, when it would have been easy to hang up the boots.
“I thought it was critical, that’s why I really pushed him hard to make sure he didn’t bow out, particularly with the manner of the loss against Costa Rica and how difficult it was for all of us to accept,” Hay told the Herald.
“It’s right that we give him a good send off. It hasn’t always been done that way, with All Whites in the past. Particularly someone who has given so much to the game, with the level that he has played at – he has been a true pioneer.”
Midfielder Marko Stamenic, who made his Champions League starting debut for FC Copenhagen last week, can attest to the influence of Reid and fellow long term professional Chris Wood.
“Just the maturity and the advice that they have to give in terms of off the field and how to deal with situations that might not go your way,” Stamenic told the Herald. “That’s helped me a lot. A lot of success in football is about players who can develop a strong mentality.”
The All Whites play Australia in Brisbane on Thursday at 10pm, followed by a game at Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday at 4pm.
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