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Tomasson calls time on 'beautiful career'

Feyenoord striker Jon Dahl Tomasson reflected on a "beautiful career" after announcing his retirement, having failed to play a game last season due to a persistent leg injury.

Jon Dahl Tomasson has called time on his playing career
Jon Dahl Tomasson has called time on his playing career ©Getty Images

A 2002 UEFA Cup winner with Feyenoord, former Denmark forward John Dahl Tomasson has called time on his playing career.

Tomasson failed to make an appearance for Feyenoord last season – the third year of his second spell at the Rotterdam club – because of a leg injury. Informed by doctors ten days ago that he was three months from recovering and still "without any guarantees of getting back on the pitch", the 34-year-old has decided enough is enough.

"That was the final straw for me, even though it was a very tough decision," he said. "This is not an easy day for me, a sad day even, because being a professional footballer is the most beautiful thing there is. I am proud of my beautiful career. Winning the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord [in 2002] and winning the Champions League [with AC Milan] are the absolute highlights.

"I always had an enormous drive to succeed and I think I got everything possible from my career – I could not have been better. I am a football animal, maybe even a football fanatic, but now I draw a line under my time as a player."

Having made his name with 37 goals in 78 league games for Dutch side SC Heerenveen, Tomasson had a brief stint at Newcastle United FC before hitting the big time at Feyenoord and AC Milan – who won the UEFA Champions League in his first term in Italy. Stays at VfB Stuttgart and Villarreal CF followed before a return to Rotterdam in 2008. He scored 75 goals in 159 Eredivisie outings for Feyenoord.

A veteran of 112 caps and 52 international goals, Tomasson made his final appearance for his country in the 3-1 defeat by Japan at last summer's FIFA World Cup. He now assumes a role on the coaching staff of Feyenoord's sister club SBV Excelsior.