David Bentley: Former England midfielder retires at 29

David Bentley Tottenham
Bentley scored six goals in 62 appearances for Tottenham

Former England midfielder David Bentley has retired at the age of 29 after "falling out of love with the game".

The former Tottenham and Blackburn player last played more than a year ago and says he now wants to focus on his family and business interests.

Bentley made seven appearances for England in a 12-year senior career and cost £15m when he joined Spurs in 2008.

"It's over a year since I played my last game and I felt like it was time to call it a day," said Bentley

"I've just had little baby twins, three months old, and I've got a little four-year-old and I want to focus on that. My love for the game went a little bit and I didn't want to carry on just for the fact of paying me money."

He added on Sky Sports News: "The game has changed a lot - when I first started playing it was more about enjoying it. You went into work every day and it was brilliant.

"Now it's a little bit robotic - with the social media side of it and the money that has come into the game. I hate to say it but it's made it boring. It's made it predictable and a bit too calculated."

Bentley was once talked of as the natural heir to David Beckham because of his crossing ability, and he enjoyed his best spell in the game during three seasons at Blackburn, where he scored 20 goals in 132 appearances.

He earned his first England cap in a Euro 2008 qualifier against Israel in September 2007 while his club form prompted Tottenham to sign him in July 2008.

His most memorable moment in a Spurs shirt came in his first season, a stunning 40-yard volley helping his side to a famous 4-4 draw with north London rivals Arsenal.

But the former Arsenal trainee nevertheless struggled to establish himself at White Hart Lane and was sent on loan to Birmingham, West Ham and Russian side FC Rostov.

A short loan spell back at Blackburn followed before he was released on the expiry of his Tottenham contract last summer.

Bentley's brief England career - during which he felt the ire of fans for his decision to withdraw from the England Under-21 squad for the 2007 European Championship, citing fatigue - ended in August 2008, his seventh and final appearance coming in a friendly against the Czech Republic.

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