Former Wigan defender Scharner announces retirement

The 33-year-old, who won the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic last season, has called time on his career after falling out of favour at Hamburg
Former Wigan Athletic and West Brom defender Paul Scharner has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 33-year-old has stepped away from the game to focus on family life after falling out of favour at Hamburg.

Scharner, who won the FA Cup with Wigan last season, joined Hamburg in July 2012, but made just four appearances for the club.

He was sent on loan to Wigan last term but upon returning to Germany, found himself training with the reserves and told he would not have a future at the club.

Scharner, who was capped 40 times by Austria, came to an agreement with Hamburg, departing by mutual consent, before posting a retirement message on his official Twitter account.

"The end! Thank you for all your support. Bye bye," Scharner's message said.

Scharner's retirement comes just one day after he blasted Hamburg, citing a lack of philosophy and chances for him.

"Hamburg had to pay for their mistakes (in relation to Scharner's payout)," he said.

"From day one, Hamburg had been a disappointment for me. I was never offered a chance.

"Moreover, the club has no philosophy."

Scharner also said that he was growing frustrated with football at the top level, claiming Gareth Bale's world-record move to Real Madrid was "wrong".

"Top-level football is no longer about football. It's only business. To pay €100 million for one player is just wrong," he said.

"Real characters are no longer in demand."