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Argentina captain Roberto Ayala has announced his retirement from international football.

The decision comes two days after winning his 115th cap during his side’s 3-0 defeat to Brazil in the final of the Copa America.

“I took the decision some time ago and it wasn’t just because of the result but because I think a cycle has come to an end in the national team,” Ayala told a news conference after signing a three-year contract with Real Zaragoza.

Ayala paid €6m to buy himself out of his contract with Villarreal on Tuesday prior to completing a controversial move to Primera Liga rivals Real Zaragoza.

Zaragoza made the move for Ayala to fill the gap left by Gabriel Milito, who was sold to Barcelona for a fee of up to €20.5m earlier this month.

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