March 22, 2018 / 3:49 AM / 10 months ago

Williams pondered Wales retirement after World Cup failure

Soccer Football - Wales Press Conference - Stade de France, Paris, France - November 9, 2017 Wales' Ashley Williams during the press conference REUTERS/Charles Platiau

(Reuters) - Wales captain Ashley Williams says he considered retiring from international football after their failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

The 33-year-old defender played in October’s 1-0 home defeat by Ireland in the qualifiers which left Wales third in Group D and ended their World Cup hopes.

“It was just so disappointing missing out on that that I had to think about retirement,” Williams told reporters. “I spoke to the people closest to me, I didn’t want to retire or anything like that.

“But I felt like it was something that I should’ve thought about and seen where I was at with club and international football and life in general.

“I did give that a thought, but then I decided I wanted to keep doing it anyway.”

Williams said that he had met with new Wales manager Ryan Giggs and his backroom staff earlier this month to help them get familiar with the team.

Giggs, who succeeded Chris Coleman in January, will take charge of his first game when Wales face China in the opening match of the China Cup tournament later on Thursday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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