London - England captain Steven Gerrard has hinted he could retire from the international stage after the World Cup in Brazil.

Gerrard will lead Roy Hodgson’s side to South America next month. They face group-stage fixtures against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

The 33-year-old is hoping England can defy their underdog status at the tournament and make a serious challenge for their first World Cup crown since 1966.

But the Liverpool midfielder, who turns 34 next week, has acknowledged that this could be his last taste of the international scene.

With Liverpool back in the Champions League next season, Gerrard knows the demands on his body will be greater than ever, so he may well decide to step away from England duty to prolong his club career. “I’m not going to leave anyone hanging,” he told several English newspapers on Sunday.

“Don’t worry, as soon as the World Cup is over I’ll sit down with the manager at the right time and I’ll make the decision. I can be open and honest with you now that I haven’t made that decision because I haven’t had the chance to chat with the manager at length over it.”