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Milito calls time on career

June 13, 2012
By ESPN staff

Independiente captain Gabriel Milito is to retire from football at the end of the Argentinian season.

Gabriel Milito
GettyImagesGabriel Milito won 42 caps for Argentina

Milito, 31, returned to Independiente, his first club, last year when he was released by Barcelona after four years at the Camp Nou.

The defender, who also spent four years of his career with Real Zaragoza, sustained knee ligament damage after the Champions League semi-final defeat to Manchester United in 2008 and spent almost 19 months on the sidelines.

He has been able to resume his career after making the move back to his homeland but has now announced that he does not feel capable of continuing.

"I don't feel well, either physically or mentally," Milito, who won 42 caps for Argentina, said. "I've been thinking about this since the start of the year. It isn't an easy decision because I love what I do.

"I'm happy to finish my career at the club where I started. I made my professional debut at the club that I wanted and I'm retiring where I want. I'm very grateful to the directors for allowing me to fulfil this dream. I'm also grateful for the fans. They have made me very happy."

On his next move, he added: "I think that after this decision I need a break. In the future I want to be involved with football again."

Independiente are currently 17th in the 20-team Clausura with two games remaining.