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​Ex-Liverpool winger Downing eyes retirement after Blackburn exit

Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing is close to hanging up his boots.

The 36-year-old is leaving Championship side Blackburn Rovers and could be done with the game as a player.

Downing signed for Liverpool in 2011 and played 91 times for the first team before transferring to West Ham United.

He also played for Middlesbrough and Aston Villa during a career that started in 2001, winning two League Cups in that time.

"The likelihood is I'll probably retire," he told talkSPORT.

"My contract has ended at Blackburn. I had a good few years there, I wasn't involved as much last season.

"I re-signed in November, so I was getting up to speed and by the time I did, the season had petered out. After last season because I wasn't involved in the first three or four months, I tried to get my head around if this could be it.

"But I went back to Blackburn for another six or seven months and then I thought, 'I feel good, I feel fit'.

"There comes a time when you have to make a decision. You've got to get enjoyment from football and if you're not playing, that's a big thing for me.

"I wasn't involved as much as I would have liked last season.

"If that's the way it's going to be going forward, I'll look at something new and call it a day because it's about playing and being involved on the Saturday after training all week.

"I was disappointed when I didn't play last season, which is life, you get on with it. I've got a decision to make in the next couple of weeks, but I'll probably retire."

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