Ruud van Nistelrooy announces retirement

The former Netherlands international has made the decision not to extend his contract with Malaga, and will bring the curtains down on his playing career with immediate effect
Ruud van Nistelrooy has announced his decision to hang up his boots this summer after opting not to renew his contract with Malaga.

The former Netherlands international had an expiring deal with the Andalusian side, and will not ink a new contract as he feels the time has come to end his active career.

"Yesterday I played the last match of my professional career. The time has come to hang up my boots. I have arrived at my physical limit and I can't play at the maximum level. I couldn't have had a better send-off than this," Van Nistelrooy stated at a press conference.

"I am proud to have won collective and individual titles. But my greatest satisfaction was to be able to work day after day, year after year.

"I want to thank all the clubs I've played for over the years for their support, plus my friends and family, who have supported me all these years. I would also like to thank the fans of all my clubs. They have been great."

The 35-year-old started playing professionally with Dutch Eerstedivisie side Den Bosch in 1993 before joining Heerenveen four years later.

After one season at the Friezen, Van Nistelrooy moved on to PSV, where he made it into the Dutch national team and eventually earned himself a lucrative transfer to Manchester United after three successful seasons in Eindhoven.

Van Nistelrooy immediately became a key figure at Old Trafford and netted 150 goals in 219 official appearances.

The prolific hitman then joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2006, where he won two Liga titles.

The Dutchman also enjoyed an 18-month spell at Hamburg, before eventually ending up at Malaga at the start of the 2011-12 campaign.

Van Nistelrooy made 70 international appearances for Netherlands, scoring 35 goals in the process. He featured at Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup and at Euro 2008. He scored 347 competitive goals in 588 official appearances in club football. He is currently the Champions League's second highest scorer with 56 strikes.