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Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi has quit international football in a bid to help Southampton regain their Premiership status.

“I want to be in playing shape next season,” Niemi, said. “There’s nothing dramatic in this decision.

“At the end of the season, (Bolton’s) Jussi Jaaskelainen was one of the Premiership’s best keepers, so I will not be leaving anyone in a tough spot.”

Niemi won 66 caps – a record number for a Finnish goalkeeper.

Finland are fourth in World Cup qualifying Group 1, trailing leaders Netherlands by seven points. They resume their qualifying campaign at home to the Netherlands on 8 June.

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