Tag Archives: retire

Kaka retires at 35 to pursue manager/directorial role

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Former Real Madrid and Milan star Kaka has announced on Sunday that he is retiring from the professional football scene.

Kaka, who was in Brazil’s World Cup-winning squad in 2002, said the time was right to call it a day as he announced his retirement on Twitter, as well as during an interview to Brazilian commentator Galvao Bueno, aired by TV Globo.

“It was much more than I could ever imagined. Thank you!” he tweeted. “I’m now ready for the next journey. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Earlier this year, 35-year-old Kaka had announced that he would not extend his contract with Orlando City but opened the door to a possible return to Milan, the club where he made his name.

“I would like to participate in the club in another way, as a manager, a sporting director, as someone who is between the pitch and the club,” he said in a farewell interview with Globo TV in Brazil. “I prepared very hard to be a professional footballer and I want to prepare for this new role.”

Kaka also added that Milan, with whom he won the Champions League in 2007, had offered him a role but did not specify the exact nature of the job or say if he would accept it.

Both Milan and Kaka’s very first team, Sao Paulo, had offered him contracts in the capacity of a player to extend his career but were turned down.

The Brazilian joined Milan in 2003 and stayed for six years before joining Real Madrid for €65m, the second highest transfer fee ever only behind the €77.5 million fee Real paid for Zinedine Zidane at the time. But after limited success in which he only won one league title and one Copa del Rey in Spain, he returned to Milan in 2013 before joining the new MLS side Orlando City, becoming the highest-paid player in MLS history.

Kaka was the last player apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, winning in 2007 after leading Milan to the Champions League, scoring 10 goals in the process.

Everton’s Wayne Rooney retires from England international duty

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Everton midfielder Wayne Rooney has declined a return to Gareth Southgate’s England squad, instead choosing to bow out after 119 caps and a record 53 goals.

Rooney has reportedly informed Southgate of his decision in a phone call, who was asking if he would return to the squad and effectively fill the void left by Adam Lallana being injured.

“It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches,” Rooney said. “I really appreciated that. However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.”

“It is a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family, my manager at Everton and those closest to me. Playing for England has always been special to me. Every time I was selected as a player or captain was a real privilege and I thank everyone who helped me. But I believe now is the time to bow out.”

However, Southgate believed that he might still be able to coax Rooney out of for the World Cup if the 32-year-old is able to maintain his form for Everton this season and is open to the idea of playing for England in Russia next summer.

“I don’t see why you ever shut the door on anything,” Southgate said. “I suppose we would have to see where he was at, where the squad was at, where everything else was at. But it would be foolish to say ‘no’ because anything is possible. A part of that question should go to Wayne because you have to respect his decision and the thinking behind it. But have I seen players change their minds? Yes, I think we all have.”

“Wayne has been somebody it may have been easy for the other players to hide behind because he was always the one who has carried the burden. I think that’s been unfair on him. Now everybody has the chance to take the mantle.”

Antonio Cassano joins Verona, but retires and then un-retires

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Former Italy international Antonio Cassano has sensationally “un-retired” from football a few hours after telling his Verona team-mates that he was missing his family too much and wanted to quit the game.

Cassano, 35, who joined Verona only eight days ago and made the decision to leave the club and retire from football early on Tuesday.

However, after Verona have promised that they they will ensure that his family move closer to him, he held a press conference in the afternoon to tell the media that he had reconsidered and was now looking forward to “having a fun season” with his new club.

“This morning I had a moment of weakness,” he said. “A ‘fall’, but then I thought about it again. If I had decided to go through with this gut-feeling it would have been a catastrophic choice and I’ve gone with my gut-feeling too many times in my career.”

“I had a sudden feeling of missing my family and I got too emotional. But now I want to have a fantastic season. I’ve already lost seven kilos and I am fully motivated. Don’t be irritated by all this, in two games’ time we will forget all about this.”

Cassano began his professional career at Bari in 1999 and played for, among others, Roma, Real Madrid, Milan and Internazionale. While considered by many as one of the most talented players of his generation, he missed Italy’s World Cup triumph in 2006 after a poor season with Real.

But since joining last week, the veteran had already played in two friendlies for Verona and impressed in both, before Tuesday’s series of events.

Verona, who won promotion back to the Italian top-flight after a brief season in Serie B, will now hope he can form a productive partnership up front with Giampaolo Pazzini, whom he played with at Sampdoria.

Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season

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Roma have made the announcement that Francesco Totti will retire at the end of the season, 24 years after he debuted for Roma as their youngest player ever.

Totti, 40, has made more than 600 appearances for the club since his debut in 1993, but has made only one start in Serie A this season for Roma coach Luciano Spalletti after being awarded a one-year extension in 2016. The other of his 24 appearances this season were mostly as a substitute.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Roma’s new sporting director, Monchi, confirmed that this would be Totti’s last season as a player but added that he could work closely with the former Italy international once the World Cup winner hangs up his boots.

“In terms of Totti, I already knew that there was an agreement with the club that this would be his final year as a player, then he’d start as a director,” he said.

“Francesco is Roma, I want to be as close to him as possible. I’d love to learn even 1% of the huge amount that he knows.”

Totti, when asked whether Roma’s 3-1 defeat against Lazio on Sunday had been his last derby, the veteran said that it was not up to him and that “other people” were making those claims.

But as it were, Totti’s final game will be on Sunday, 28 May against Genoa at the Stadio Olimpico, after winning two Serie A titles as well as the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa on two occasions each during his 24 years with Roma.

The player has also represented Italy at all levels from under-15, scoring nine goals in 58 senior appearances before his retirement after winning the World Cup in Germany.