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Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom retires


Stockholm (AFP) – Kim Kallstrom, who won 131 caps for Sweden, announced on Friday that he was hanging up his boots at the age of 35.

The left-sided midfielder had returned to one of his first clubs, Djurgardens, in Stockholm, on a two-year deal before the recently completed Swedish season. 

Kallstrom won national league titles with Djurgardens and Lyon and also played for Rennes, Spartak Moscow, Grasshoppers and Arsenal.

“That adrenaline rush that you experience in every on-field duel is a big part of what I’ve built my career on. If you do not have that any more, you’re in danger. It’s best to stop,” he told a press conference.

“I still have so much pleasure playing at the weekend but it’s also necessary to work during the week and I’m beginning to lack the energy and strength for that,” he added.

Kallstrom said he told the club he wanted to quit after the season ended in November but sporting director Bo Andersson told him to take a holiday first.

Kallstrom did not change his mind.

“I’m sitting here a very grateful man. I feel I’m done. I feel I’ve done what I can do as a football player,” he said.

Kallstrom started his professional career with BK Hacken in 1999 before joining Djurgardens in 2002, winning league titles in both seasons before leaving for France.

He played three seasons for Rennes and joined Lyon in 2006, playing more than 200 games over six years and collecting a pair of winners’ medals each in Ligue 1 and the French Cup and French League Cup. 

He featured sparingly over 18 months at Spartak Moscow who loaned him for half a season to Arsenal where he made just four appearances. After a stint with Grasshoppers in Zurich he returned to Sweden.

Kallstrom retired from international football after Sweden were eliminated at the end of the group stage in Euro 2016 in France. He scored 16 goals for the national team.

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