Former United and Real footballer Van Nistelrooy retires

AFP, Monday 14 May 2012

Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy announced his retirement after Sunday’s Malaga match

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Malaga's Ruud van Nistelrooy of The Netherlands waves at the end of his news conference after announcing his retirement at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga (Photo: Reuters)

Malaga's Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy retired from professional football on Monday, ending a stellar career that included stints with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

"Yesterday I played my last match as a professional," Van Nistelrooy, 35, told a news conference.

"I think the moment has come for me to stop playing football -- I have reached my physical limit," he added.

"But there could be no better way to say goodbye than this, in a euphoric moment for the club," which on Sunday won a place in next season's Champion's League with a fourth-place finish in Spain's La Liga.

During his two-decade career, Van Nistelrooy was crowned top scorer in three countries -- The Netherlands, England and Spain.

With 60 goals in the Champions League, he remains that competition's second-highest scorer, behind Raul of Spain.

He played for five seasons with Manchester United, winning the English league twice, and then played a part in two Liga titles during four seasons with Real Madrid.

He moved to Malaga last year after a two-season stint with Hamburg.

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