sport

Hangeland calls time on Norway

Norway captain Brede Hangeland has retired from international football 12 years after making his debut for his country.

The 33-year-old Crystal Palace defender chose to make the announcement before Norway launch their Euro 2016 qualification campaign.

The centre-back, who has 91 caps, joined Palace in the summer from Fulham and will now concentrate on his club commitments.

"For many years I have had a very high load on my body, and now it feels essential to make this decision," said Hangeland.

"It is a heavy decision, it is never a good time for this type of decision but before the start of a new national qualification and with a new club, I am confident that it is the right decision.

"I'm very humble and proud to have represented Norway on so many occasions. Playing for Norway has given me some of my best experiences on the football field."

Norway coach Per-Mathias Hogmo said: "I have great respect for the decision. Brede is a wise man, he has had an illustrious career in the national team and has been captain with a capital C.

"It's been a pleasure to work with Brede, and I look forward to keeping in touch with Brede, although he will now concentrate on his club career."

Meanwhile, Martin Odegaard is in line to become the youngest player to represent Norway when they take on United Arab Emirates in a friendly in Stavanger next week.

The 15-year-old midfielder, who plays for the champions Stromsgodset and has been linked with a number of top European clubs, has been selected by Hogmo for the fixture on 27 August.