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FFA and Melbourne Heart adulate retiring Kewell

Both Football Federation Australia and the Melbourne Heart have heaped praise on retiring Australian star Harry Kewell.

The 35-year old former Leeds United and Liverpool ace today announced he will be retiring from all forms of professional football at the end of the 2013/14 A-League season.

Kewell played 56 times for the Socceroos, scoring 17 goals, and was an influential part of the so-called 'Golden Generation' which performed to an unprecedented level at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

His decision puts an end to the career of one of Australia's most talented players and his efforts have been highlighted by FFA CEO David Gallop who described Kewell as a pioneer of the game in his country.

"Harry was a genuine superstar for the Socceroos and his clubs in Europe and Australia," said Gallop in a statement released by FFA.

"Harry made football cool for generations of Aussie kids.

"His goal against Croatia in 2006 delivered our best ever World Cup finish and his return to the A-League in 2011 was the spark that set off the huge increases in crowds and TV ratings.

"On behalf of the football community, I congratulate Harry on a marvellous career and wish him well with the next part of his journey. We'll find the best way to allow the public to pay tribute, including when we say farewell to the Socceroos at ANZ Stadium on 26 May."

In addition, Heart chief Scott Munn also paid tribute to Kewell who spent time with Galatasaray, Melbourne Victory and Al-Gharafa during his playing days.

"The combination of Kewell's sparkling playing style, coupled with his collection of achievements that is unrivalled among contemporaries, has made Kewell a driving force behind Australian football's growth over the past two decades," said Munn in a Heart statement.

"As a footballer, he has experienced the highs and lows of the sport and his experiences are indelibly joined to the modern narrative of Australian football, having played a leading role in almost all of Australia's famous moments of the past two decades.

"Kewell's achievements at club level and international level remain exceptional and may not be surpassed for a generation. His career has inspired a generation of footballers and football fans in Australia and he is somebody of whom the entire community should be proud."

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