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Yakhimovich calls time on career

Former Belarus international Erik Yakhimovich has retired after leaving Chinese club Shandong Luneng.

No takers
The 34-year-old returned to Europe after a difference of opinion with Shandong coach Valeri Neponyashiy but has been unable to find a new club. "Fitness-wise, I could play on in the Russian Premier League for a couple more years. But I would only play for one of the Moscow sides, and they are going for younger players these days," said the defender, who appeared 34 times for his country.

Champion class
A former FC Dinamo Minsk and FC Dinamo Moskva player, Yakhimovich won three league titles with the Belarussian club between 1992 and 1994 as well as the Belarus Cup in 1992 and 1994. He then moved to Moscow, where he spent six seasons and lifted the Russian Cup in 1995.

Coaching interest
Yakhimovich could now return to the Russian capital to pursue a coaching career. "I might attend a coaching school in Moscow," he said. Yakhimovich, who had a loan spell at Turkish side Vanspor in 1998, made a permanent switch to the Super Ligi to play for Gaziantepspor between 2000 and 2002 before his brief stay in China.