Juventus Turin midlefielder and former Czech Republic captain Pavel Nedved, 36, has announced he will retire at the end of this season. Nedved was rewarded with the presitigious Ballon d'Or in 2003.
REUTERS - Juventus's former European footballer of the year
Pavel Nedved has said he will retire from playing at the end
of the season.
"I will quit at the end of the season, no matter how well we
do in the Champions League or Serie A," the former Czech
Republic international told UEFA's website (www.uefa.com) after
Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in the Champions League last
"The decision is final and I don't think I will change my
mind -- I don't need to. It is the right time to quit."
The 36-year-old, who is a regular starter, almost retired at
the end of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons before signing
consecutive one-year deals with the Turin club, whom he joined
from Lazio in 2001.
"I'm still enjoying playing but considering my physical and
mental condition I understand that the time has come to make way
for younger players -- they deserve to play," he added.
The attacking midfielder was awarded the 2003 Ballon D'Or
after helping his team to reach the Champions League final,
although he was unable to play in the defeat to AC Milan on
penalties because of a suspension.
He won the 2002 and 2003 Serie A crowns in Turin and stuck
with the club after they were relegated to Serie B and stripped
of the 2005 and 2006 titles because of Italy's match-fixing
Nedved notched up 91 caps with the Czech Republic between
1994 and 2006 and was the driving force behind the team that
reached the final of Euro 96.
Lazio brought him to Italy from Sparta Prague after that
tournament and he helped the Rome club to lift the 1999 European
Cup Winners' Cup and the Italian league title the following
Date created : 2009-02-26