Former Czech Republic defender Tomáš Ujfaluši has retired from football aged 35 due to a knee injury.
Ujfaluši, capped 78 times by his country, joined AC Sparta Praha in August after 13 years abroad but has only been able to take part in four Czech Cup games and no league fixtures. The former SK Sigma Olomouc, Hamburger SV, ACF Fiorentina, Club Atlético de Madrid and Galatasaray AŞ centre-back announced in Prague on Monday that he is bowing out.
"I have consulted doctors on the state of my injured knee and decided to say goodbye to football," Ujfaluši said. "It was not an easy decision, but I cannot be useful on the pitch anymore and I felt this is the best solution."
Ujfaluši's career brought many honours, including the German League Cup at Hamburg, the 2010 UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup with Atlético, and two Turkish titles for Galatasaray. He also helped the Czech Republic to the UEFA EURO 2004 semi-finals, before taking part in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008.
"My career went very well, I played for more than 600 games and in all the teams I played for I was a regular member of the starting lineup," he said. "From my career I would pick my time with Atlético Madrid where I won my first [major] trophies, I had also a great time at Galatasaray that came after coming there from Spain. There were many great games in my career, but the finals of the Europa League and Super Cup in Monaco come to my mind as the most outstanding matches.
"From my international career, EURO 2004 was the most successful time, we were unbeaten for two years and were second in the FIFA ranking. I had a chance to be in a team with great footballers such as Pavel Nedvěd, Karel Poborský and Jan Koller."
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