Rivaldo announces retirement at age 41

The Brazilian finally ended his playing career, saying his success showed that "it's worth fighting and believing for what you want."
World Cup winner Rivaldo has announced his retirement from professional soccer at the age of 41.

The Brazilian, who scored 34 times in 74 appearances for his country from 1993 to 2003, played for the likes of Barcelona and AC Milan at his peak and prolonged his career with stints at clubs such as Olympiakos and AEK Athens.

Following spells in recent years at the likes of Bunyodkor and Sao Paulo, Rivaldo signed on with Mogi Mirim for the third time in his career at the end of 2013, with the deal set to see him stay until 2015.

However, the forward finally called an end to his "miracle" career Saturday and hopes his time on the field has set an example for future players to follow their hearts.

"With tears in my eyes, I would like to thank God, my family and everyone else for their support and love I have received during my 24 years as a professional footballer," Rivaldo wrote on his official social media outlets. "My history as a player has come to an end today. My entire career was built upon a miracle, I've left my hometown Paulista without any financial resources, no agent, disbelieved by doctors and coaches and I saw a distant dream come true.

"With persistence, dedication and, mostly, by the hand of God, I've achieved to be recognized as the best player in the world, to be a world champion, among many other awards and honors. In a land where everything is for consumption, I exit as part of history, maybe an example, as testimony for sure that it's worth fighting and believing for what you want."