Van Bommel retires from football

The 36-year-old has decided to call time on his 21-year career following PSV's 3-1 defeat to Twente, citing the emergence of younger players and his troublesome left knee
PSV midfielder Mark van Bommel has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect.

The 36-year-old also ended his career which spanned 21 seasons on a familiar note as he was sent off on 70 minutes following two bookable offences in his side's 3-1 defeat to Twente on Sunday.

And after his 350th Eredivisie appearance, Van Bommel broke the news that the loss in Enschede would be his final game, citing a desire to make way for younger players and rest his body after a tough season.

"It's been nice. I no longer want to prevent other players from breaking through. I've also had problems with my left knee since last year," he said.

"Nevertheless, it's been extremely difficult to determine the right time to bow out. The PSV fans made it that way, but I decided to listen to my head.

"This season, I've been playing at an acceptable level but unfortunately it has not amounted to much because I'm a team player, and the disappointment [of not winning any titles] still bothers me.

"Of course it is annoying to say goodbye [with a red card], but it's not been the year of PSV and therefore not mine either."

Since making his debut for Fortuna Sittard in 1992, Van Bommel went on to represent PSV twice, as well as Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and the Netherlands national team, and scored 111 goals in 807 official matches.

He won 22 trophies - including the Champions League with the Blaugrana and league titles at all of his clubs, and he looked back on his career with little regret.

"I've played for Fortuna Sittard, PSV, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and AC Milan and won 22 titles. I am very proud of reaching the World Cup final with the Oranje in 2010," Van Bommel concluded.