Thursday, 26 February 2009

Nedved confirms summer retirement plan

Juventus midfielder Pavel Nedved has revealed that he will retire in June regardless of what the Bianconeri achieve this season.

The former Czech international made his announcement after recording his seventh UEFA Champions League appearance of the campaign as the Old Lady slipped to a 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg tie of the last-16.

"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," announced Nedved.

"Maybe you think I'm still young but I'm almost 37. I will quit at the end of the season, no matter how well we do in the Champions League or Serie A.

"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."

Nedved, who has been in Turin since a 41 million euro switch from Lazio in 2001, has unfinished business in the Champions league having missed the 2003 final loss to AC Milan through suspension. Nor are his aspirations of claiming a winners' medal over yet, despite the setback in west London.

"I would love to finish my career with victory in the Champions League," he said. "We haven't got a good result but it's not over yet. Anything can happen in the return. I think it is 55-45 to them right now. It will be difficult, but not impossible."

Nedved landed the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with Lazio in 1999 and the Scudetto the following season.

The 2003 European Footballer of the Year has added two more Serie A titles during his time at Juventus, as well as countless personal honours and 91 international caps.

Source: UEFA

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