Paraguay's Roque Santa Cruz retiring from international competition

ASUNCION, Paraguay -- Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz says he's retiring from international football.

The 35-year-old forward announced on Tuesday that he will leave the national team after the World Cup qualifiers against Peru on Thursday in Asuncion and Bolivia next Tuesday in La Paz.

Santa Cruz began his career at Olimpia in the Paraguayan capital. He also played for Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Real Betis, Malaga and Mexico's Cruz Azul, before returning to Olimpia this season.

He has scored 32 goals with Paraguay and played in three World Cups.

Paraguay are seventh in the South American qualifiers with 15 points. The top four countries qualify automatically for Russia, with the fifth-place team going to an intercontinental playoff.