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Philadelphia Union's Paunovic announces retirement

Philadelphia Union attacker Veljko Paunovic has announced his retirement from professional soccer.

The 34-year old Serbian has decided to hang up his boots following an extensive career spent almost exclusively in Europe apart from last year with the Union.

Paunovic, who played over 400 matches and scored over 80 goals, was very grateful to the Union for giving him a chance but said it was time to hang up the boots.

"I want to thank the great Union family for welcoming me from the very first day that I came here," said Paunovic.

"I've been so many places around the world and I have never felt as happy as I have been here. It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from soccer due to family reasons but I will never forget the Union fans and the atmosphere at PPL Park every game.

"I have proudly worn the Union Jersey wherever we have played throughout the country and I will always feel like a Union 'soldier' wherever I am in the world.

"I also wanted to give a special thanks to my teammates, coaching staff, CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz, Diego Gutierrez, and all the employees that work so hard for all of us. I especially would like to thank Peter Nowak, who gave me this opportunity. His knowledge of soccer and great ability to lead the team have taught me so much

"I am deeply grateful to everyone associated with Philadelphia Union."

Paunovic kicked off his career with FK Partizan in 1994 and has since played with the likes of Atletico Madrid, Mallorca, Tenerife, Hannover, Getafe, Rubin Kazan and Almeria.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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