Former Argentina captain Diego Simeone has hung up his boots after a 19-year playing career which included the 1997/98 UEFA Cup trophy and league championships in Spain and Italy.
The 35-year-old Simeone, his country's most-capped international with 106 appearances to his name, spent 14 years in Europe and helped Club Atlético de Madrid claim the Primera División title and the Spanish Cup in 1995/96, before switching to FC Internazionale Milano in 1997. He spent two seasons at the San Siro and was part of the team that defeated S.S. Lazio 3-0 in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup final. Eleven goals in 57 league appearances later Simeone decided to join the Biancocelesti where he would enjoy more title success as Lazio finished first in Serie A in 1999/00 and added the Coppa Italia the same season.
In total Simeone managed 15 goals in 90 Serie A appearances for Lazio before leaving to rejoin Atlético in July 2003. He struggled to hold down a first-team place second time around, however, and returned to his homeland in December 2004 to join Buenos Aires outfit Racing Club Avellaneda, the team he has supported since shildhood. Simeone, who appeared in the FIFA World Cup finals in 1994, 1998 and 2002, has since featured 38 times for the club and is retiring to take over as coach following Fernando Quiroz's resignation a fortnight ago.
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