By Philip O'Connor
STOCKHOLM, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Anders Svensson, Sweden's most-capped player, is to retire from international duty, the Swedish football association said on Thursday.
"I have decided to hang up my international boots," Svensson, who has played 148 times for his country, said in a statement on the governing body's website (www.svenskfotboll.se).
"It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, but I've concluded that it's time for me to step aside and leave room for younger players knocking on the door of the international team."
Svensson, the Elfsborg midfielder, made his Sweden debut against South Africa in 1999, and has appeared at two World Cups and two European Championships.
He left Elfsborg in 2001 for a four-year spell in England with Southampton before returning to win two league Swedish titles.
His last game for Sweden was their 3-2 home defeat in the second leg of the World Cup playoff against Portugal in Stockholm in November.
(Editing by Stephen Wood)