The veteran of 14 years in professional soccer calls it quits after a decorated career that includes Canada's all-time caps record and both national and club titles.Canada's longest-serving player is calling it a career.
Paul Stateri announced his retirement from the playing side of the game on Wednesday, putting an end to a 14-year career that included stints in Canada, Germany and England.
Stalteri last played professionally in 2011 with Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the nearly two years since, he had been training on his own and keeping the door open on a return to the game.
“It’s been in my thoughts for quite some time now,” Stalteri told CanadaSoccer.com.
“After two successful operations I was feeling better than ever before, so I wanted to give myself lots of time to ensure that I made the right decision. In the end, I have decided that now is the time for me to move on to something different.”
Ultimately, Stalteri said the time was right to hang up the boots. He does so as one of the most distinguished Canadian players to ever step on the pitch.
Capped 84 times for the national team, Stalteri owns the all-time appearance record for a Canadian men's player. In those 84 games, he helped Canada win the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and was part of the side that earned third-place finishes in 2002 and 2007.
He was named Canadian Player of the Year in 2001 and 2004, and was also selected to the 2007 Gold Cup All Tournament Team.
At the club level, the 35-year-old started his professional career with his hometown Toronto Lynx in 1997, then a part of the second division North American A-League. He was purchased by German Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in 1998, where he proceeded to make 151 league appearances over a seven-year period.
With Werder, he became the first Canadian to win a Bundesliga title, doing so in the 2003-04 season. It was during that campaign that Stalteri and Werder Bremen also won the DFB-Pokal.
In 2005, Stalteri made the move to the English Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur. Over the next three-and-a-half seasons, he made 55 combined league appearances with Spurs and Fulham before returning to the Bundesliga in 2009.
With his final club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Stalteri played more of a back-up role, playing in 19 games before injuries forced him to miss the entire 2010-11 campaign.