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Juventus’ Barzagli to retire at end of season

Milan (AFP) – Veteran Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, announced Saturday that he will retire from football at the end of the season.

“When you’re a footballer you find it hard to think about life after football, but this season’s injuries helped me to understand. I’ve decided to quit in June,” the 37-year-old said after a 2-1 defeat by SPAL.

Barzagli made a rare start against SPAL — where a point would have sealed an eighth consecutive league title for Juve — after a season hampered by injury.

“I’m trying to figure out what to do next,” he said. “I am attracted to various ideas in the world of football, and I will take the time to decide.

“Playing soccer was my dream as a child. I have to find something that gives me the same enthusiasm.”

Barzagli earned 74 caps for Italy but retired after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

He has won seven Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies with Juventus since 2011, and the 2009 German Bundesliga crown with VfL Wolfsburg.

“We wanted to wrap it up today,” he said of the Serie A title. “A pity.”

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