Italian legend and 2006 Fifa World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro has retired from professional football at the age of 37.
The veteran defender, who last played for Dubai-based Al Ahli, has claimed that injury has taken its toll and is the key reason for his decision to stop playing. He will continue in a coaching role for the Asian club, however.
"The cartilage has collapsed, and I have followed Professor Castellacci's [advice]. I tried to cure myself throughout the holiday period. But in Miami when I went for an easy jog I was in pain and realised I could not go on," the Naples-born defender stated in a press conference.
"At that point I immediately informed [Al Ahli] president Al Naboodah, with whom I [have] a wonderful relationship. I will stay at Al Ahli for another three years as a coach.
"I'll do a little man management. It excites me to work in this expanding football [country], certainly I had in mind to play one more year.
"But it would not be right, knowing that the knee cannot withstand certain levels. I have had almost 38 years of satisfaction in the game, especially internationally," he concluded.
Cannavaro is the most capped player in his country's history having turned out for the national team 136 times, and represented the likes of Napoli, Parma, Inter, Juventus and Real Madrid in a wonderful career with the highlight being when he lifted the World Cup in Germany in 2006.