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Peru's Solano to quit international football

October 1, 2009

Peru midfielder Nolberto Solano announced on Wednesday he will quit international soccer after next month's World Cup qualifiers.

"I will retire after playing against Argentina and Bolivia and I'd like us to win, that's all that matters to me," the 34-year-old told reporters.

Peru have lost all chance of reaching the 2010 finals in South Africa. They are bottom of the South American group with 10 points from 16 matches.

A surprise victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Oct. 10, however, could eliminate Diego Maradona's team. Peru are at home to already eliminated Bolivia on Oct. 14.

"I've faced Argentina many times and never got a positive result in Buenos Aires. I hope that in this farewell I can go out playing well and with a victory," Peru's captain said.

Solano, who plays for leading Peruvian club Universitario, regrets never having been able to play at a World Cup. Peru last reached the finals in 1982.

"(Maybe) my chance will be on the other side (of the line)," he added, suggesting he could one day become Peru's coach.

Solano, dubbed the "Little master" by Maradona when they were team mates at Boca Juniors in the late 1990s, began his career with Sporting Cristal.

After a season in Argentina, he spent 10 years in England playing for Newcastle United, Aston Villa and West Ham United before a brief spell in Greece with Larissa. An accomplished trumpet player with his own salsa band, Solano returned home to Peru early this year.