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Roma defender Balzaretti announces retirement

Roma defender Federico Balzaretti has announced his retirement at the age of 33 after failing to recover from a long-term hip injury.

Balzaretti has only made one competitive appearance for the Serie A club since November 2013 after suffering the injury against Sassuolo and underwent surgery in the United States in an attempt to correct the problem.

After a lengthy absence Balzaretti – who won 16 caps for Italy – returned to fitness in April and, after being an unused substitute in nine matches, played the full 90 minutes in Roma’s 2-1 defeat to Palermo on the final day of the 2014-15 campaign.

However, the full-back has now been forced to call time on playing days and is set to take up a role working under Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini.

“I am retiring from football,” he announced on Wednesday. “Unfortunately the injury I’ve had is forcing me to hang up my boots. It’s been a difficult decision to take, but I can’t continue playing the way I want to, at 100 per cent.

“Last year, in my last news conference here, I said I wanted to get back on the field and play one more match for Roma.

“I managed to play 90 more minutes with Roma and I’d like to thank everyone here for making that last dream come true.

“I’m happy to have spent the last few months of the season with this group and am delighted we secured second place.”

Wed 12 Aug, 2015
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