Di Natale announces his retirement from football

The 36-year-old Udinese striker has revealed that the 2013-14 campaign - his 18th professional season - will be his last in the game
Udinese veteran Antonio Di Natale has announced that he will retire from professional football at the end of the current season.

The 36-year-old confirmed to Sky Sport Italia following his side's 3-1 home defeat to Verona on Monday that the current campaign would be his last.

He said: "At the end of the season, I will stop. I have already spoken about it with my family.

"I’ve decided this is my last campaign. It all ends in June.

“It does hurt, because I’ve scored more goals for Udinese than I’ve gone out for dinner with my wife. I care about Udinese, as this club is like my family.”

Di Natale has been one of the most prolific Italian forwards of his generation, winning consecutive Capocannoniere crowns as Serie A top scorer in 2010 and 2011.

In 10 seasons with Udinese, Di Natale has scored 189 goals in just 362 appearances to become an all-time legend of the club.

He previously starred for Empoli, the club who he began his career with.

Di Natale has also earned 42 caps for the Italy national team, scoring 11 times and participating at two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.