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Portugal's Maniche announces retirement

Published: Tuesday 15 May 2012, 19.04CET
A UEFA Champions League winner in 2004 with FC Porto, Maniche has called time on his playing career at the age of 34 as he looks towards a new venture as a sporting director.
Portugal's Maniche announces retirement
Maniche represented Portugal over 50 times ©Getty Images

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Published: Tuesday 15 May 2012, 19.04CET

Portugal's Maniche announces retirement

A UEFA Champions League winner in 2004 with FC Porto, Maniche has called time on his playing career at the age of 34 as he looks towards a new venture as a sporting director.

Without a club since leaving Sporting Clube de Portugal last summer, former Portuguese international Maniche has announced his retirement at the age of 34.

The midfielder, capped 52 times by his country, intends to start a new career as a sporting director. Maniche, whose last appearance was on 27 February 2011 in a 1-0 defeat by CD Nacional, said: "I played alongside great players at some of the best clubs in the world and I have been coached by great coaches. In life there is a time for everything and I have a feeling of accomplishment."

Maniche scored seven goals at international level, perhaps the most famous coming during a 2-1 win against the Netherlands in the UEFA EURO 2004 semi-finals, and was named in the official Team of the Tournament for his role in helping Luiz Felipe Scolari's side finish runners-up to Greece on home soil.

The Lisbon-born player started his career with SL Benfica but rose to prominence after moving to FC Porto in the summer of 2002. Under José Mourinho's tutelage he won successive European trophies – the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the UEFA Champions League the following season – before heading to FC Dinamo Moskva in 2005.

Loan spells at Chelsea FC, whom he helped to the Premier League title in 2006, and FC Internazionale Milano, where he was reunited with Mourinho and contributed to the Nerazzurri's Scudetto triumph of 2007/08, sandwiched 18 months on the books of Club Atlético de Madrid.

Upon leaving Atlético, Maniche spent a season at 1. FC Köln before returning to Portugal and Sporting in 2010.

Last updated: 15/05/12 19.31CET

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