Sydney FC midfielder Brett Emerton has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 34-year old former Australian international has called time on his glittering career which saw him spend over a decade in Europe and the UK.
“It was an absolute honour to represent my country and to be able to do it for 15 years and play in two World Cups is really special,” said the 2002 Oceania Player of the Year.
“Playing for the Socceroos is an honour and a privilege and I enjoyed every single match I played for the National team.
“The memories I have from wearing the green and gold are something I will cherish forever.
“I have been fortunate enough to share in some very special moments with the Socceroos but it is hard to go past the win over Uruguay to qualify for the World Cup in 2005. It was a memorable night for me as a football player but the joy it brought to all Australians and the football community was amazing.
“I’ve had a fantastic career and I was incredibly fortunate to play professional football for 18 years but I know now is the right time to call it a day and I hope to be able to stay in the game moving forward and continue to contribute to Australian football.”
Of his decision to retire, Emerton added: “It’s widely known I’ve been struggling for fitness this season and those injury concerns have meant it has become increasingly difficult to perform to my best.
“With the transfer window open I wanted to give Sydney FC the opportunity to replace me if they wished to and I feel it’s the right time and the fairest way for the club and I to part ways.”
During his club career, the former Sydney Olympic star won the 2001/02 UEFA Cup with Feyenoord before making close to 250 appearances for Blackburn prior to his 2011 shift to Sydney. He ends his playing days as the third-most capped Australian footballer in history behind Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill.
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