Everton midfielder and former England star Gareth Barry has called on Steven Gerrard to opt against retiring from England duty.

The Liverpool skipper captained the Three Lions through their woeful World Cup showing this summer, but at 34 his days at the highest level are limited.

Speculation has suggested that Gerrard will retire from England action in the coming weeks in a bid to maintain his body for the rigours of domestic football for his beloved Reds side.

The veteran playmaker has insisted that he will not rush his decision, and Barry – a friend of the Merseyside-born hero – says that he hopes he doesn’t call time on his international career:

“I think he should keep playing.” He is quoted by the Daily Star.

“If Steven wants to play and an England squad is being picked you’ve got to say he’s the best man for the job playing central midfield.

“Looking at his performances for Liverpool last season, he was one of the best players in the Premier League so if there’s no-one else better than him he should be playing for England.

“That’s Steven’s decision in his head whether he still wants to do it.

“I know Steven but I don’t know his decision. It’s a really tough one when you’re England captain and you’re being urged to play on as well so it’s a big decision for him.”

Gerrard’s performances at the World Cup were criticised by some, with his misplaced header allowing Luis Suarez to score Uruguay’s winner and effectively seal England’s exit after two games.

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