By Paul Jones
Wales midfielder Jonny Williams has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 29.
The Swindon player – known as Joniesta to Wales fans and who was a member of the Welsh squad at last year’s World Cup in Qatar – has earned 33 caps since his debut in 2013.
His retirement comes after those of team-mates Gareth Bale, Joe Allen and Chris Gunter in recent months.
As well as the 2022 World Cup, Williams was also involved in the Wales squads at Euro 2016 and 2020.
Jonny Williams has announced his retirement from international football.
Diolch am bopeth Jonny ❤️🏴#DiolchJonny | #TogetherStronger
— FA WALES (@FAWales) March 12, 2023
He wrote in a social media post: “I have decided the time is right for me to step back and retire from international football.
“From the age of 15 it has been an absolute honour and privilege to wear the red dragon on my shirt.
“I’ve been blessed to play with and alongside so many great players and people over the years.
“Surrounded by an amazing togetherness between players, backroom staff and fans, we created one big family and achieved incredible success.
“Going to two European Championships and a World Cup was beyond my wildest dreams but it was all made possible together.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunities I was given by Osian Roberts & Brian Flynn in the youth teams and to Gary Speed, Chris Coleman, Ryan Giggs and Rob Page at senior level.
“Finally, thank you to the Wales fans for sticking by me from the start. You welcomed me into the family from day one and we have shared so many special memories ever since.
“To have my name sung by so many Welsh fans meant the world to me and I thank you for everything.”
Williams received his first call-up under Gary Speed in October 2011, but had to wait until the following year to make his first appearance, replacing Gareth Bale off the bench in a 2-1 win over Scotland.
He then made his first start four days later in the home defeat to Croatia, and would go on to feature at both Euro 2016 and Euro 2020, and was also selected in Rob Page’s squad for the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Page is set to announce his latest squad for the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers with Croatia and Latvia on Tuesday, and Williams is the latest star to step away from the international scene.
How good was this moment? A winner in Bulgaria that meant so much to Jonny Williams. 'Joniesta' will always hold a special place in hearts of Wales fans, skilful and committed – and thanks for winning that free-kick in Bordeaux. #DiolchJonny pic.twitter.com/Uo2LNL6Fdv
— Phil Blanche (@philblanche) March 12, 2023