Cyprus's leading marksman Konstantinou retires

Speaking after announcing his retirement, Cyprus's all-time top scorer Michalis Konstantinou said he is "delighted with what I achieved" over a 20-year career at home and in Greece.

Michalis Konstantinou (centre) celebrates after scoring one of his 32 international goals
Michalis Konstantinou (centre) celebrates after scoring one of his 32 international goals ©Getty Images

Striker Michalis Konstantinou, regarded as one of Cyprus's greatest footballers, has called time on his 20-year playing career.

Konstantinou is the Mediterranean island's all-time leading scorer – with an impressive 32 goals in 85 internationals – while he also struck 188 times in 444 club appearances for Enosis Neon Paralimni FC, Iraklis FC, Panathinaikos FC, Olympiacos FC, AC Omonia, Anorthosis Famagusta FC and AEL Limassol FC.

Speaking this week at an awards ceremony in which he was honoured, the forward, who turns 36 next month, said: "I am lucky in the sense that whatever I dreamed of achieving as a youngster, I managed to do, but looking back at certain moments I feel I perhaps did myself an injustice at times.

"But that is football. I am delighted with what I achieved in my career. It's been great and even the criticism was welcome because that helped me along the way. We will see what the future holds."

Born in the sleepy coastal resort of Paralimni, he began his playing days with his home-town team, scoring a league-best tally of 17 goals in 25 games during the 1996/97 season. A move to Greek side Iraklis followed in 1997, with his form prompting Athens giants Panathinaikos to break the domestic transfer record four years later and make Konstantinou the most expensive Cypriot player in history at €11.3m.

Having helped the Greens reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 2001/02 with six goals in 14 European matches and win the Greek double two seasons later, he made the controversial switch across town in 2005 to Olympiacos, where he added another three Super League titles and two Greek Cup winners' medals to his trophy collection.

Following a spate of injuries, he rejoined Iraklis in 2008, heading back to his homeland a year later to Omonia, with whom he was a league and cup winner in two and a half campaigns at the GSP Stadium. After one-term stays at Anorthosis and AEL, he has decided to call it day.