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FC Koper captain Miran Pavlin has announced his retirement from professional football, opting to hang up his boots after the Slovenian champions' 5-1 loss at NK Dinamo Zagreb.
As both midfielder and sporting director, the 38-year-old – capped 63 times by Slovenia – played a major role in Koper's maiden title success last season, but declared his playing career over minutes after the final whistle in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League second qualifying round first leg. "That was my last match," he said. "I hoped Koper could achieve something in Europe this season but Dinamo showed us we are a long way from where we want to be." He is set to carry on as the club's sporting director as Koper prepare for the home second leg next Tuesday.
Pavlin made history in Slovenia by scoring the decisive late goal in the second leg of their UEFA EURO 2000 play-off against Ukraine that secured his national team's qualification for their first major tournament. He also represented NK Triglav, NK Olimpija Ljubljana, SC Freiburg, Karlsruher SC, FC Porto, Olympiakos Nicosia FC and APOEL FC, and, away from football, is active in politics as a member of the Slovenian Democratic Party.
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