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Argentine soccer great Gabriel Batistuta retires

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Gabriel Batistuta, Argentina's all-time scoring leader and a former Fiorentina and AS Roma star, announced on Sunday he was retiring from soccer.

"I'm retiring for good," the 36-year-old striker said in astatement released from Doha, Qatar, where he has played the last year-and-a-half for Qatari club Al-Arabi.

Plagued by knee injuries, he announced on Saturday he was ending his contract prematurely with Al-Arabi, where he moved in 2003 afterplaying briefly with Inter Milan.

Batistuta, who retired from Argentina's national team three yearsago, is the squad's leading scorer with 56 goals in 77 games, and played on the country's 1994, 1998, and 2002 World Cup teams.

He also led Argentina to Copa America titles in 1991 and 1993."Gabriel has lost his enthusiasm for the sport," his agent,

Settimio Aloisio told the Argentine news agency Noticias Argentinas.

"He thought it was better he left the game now, before it left him," he said.

Batistuta debuted in 1988 in Argentina's first division with Newell's Old Boys, joining River Plate a year later before starring at Boca Juniors in 1990, where he quickly caught the attention of European clubs with his goal-scoring prowess.

In 1991, he signed with Italy's Fiorentina, becoming the club's idol, and leading the team to the Copa Italy and Super cup in 1995and 1996.

He moved to AS Roma in 2000, helping the team win the league championship in his first season. In 2003, he played briefly at Inter Milan before deciding to wind down his career in Qatar, where last season he was the league's leading scorer with 25 goals.

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He is my favorite player. A great player. He showed great loyalty to Fiorentina, which is rare in the modern football world.
So sad he didn't win many things in his career. :frownani:
He could have won European/wolrd player of the year had he chosen to play for big clubs.

Good luck, Batigol !
 

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He was definitly a magical goalscorer, a real goal-machine, he had fantastic times at fiorentina, Im sad these players have to end their delightful carrier at one time..

Bati always knew the correct direction of the goal!!
 

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One of the best goalscorers. But hev'e also added that he still will be doing things within football, not mentioning what though.
 

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Romario still plays at 39, scored 67 goals for Brazil, won a world cup and scored more than 900 goals for his career! Now THAT is what I call a goalscorer! :tongue: :proud: :howler:
 

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Ze da Fiel said:
Romario still plays at 39, scored 67 goals for Brazil, won a world cup and scored more than 900 goals for his career! Now THAT is what I call a goalscorer! :tongue: :proud: :howler:
make that 1,000 after he plays for Garforth Town :tongue: :D
 

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fearful striker but i always thought of him as overhyped. could not lead argentina to greatness (the 91 and 93 copa america titles were due to caniggia and redondo).
 

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the greatest....can never forget that man with a beautiful mind of the game.
 

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This was his announcement:

Doha, 13 de marzo de 2005

Por la presente informo oficialmente mi retiro definitivo como futbolista profesional. Agradezco a todos los que me ayudaron durante mi carrera. En primer lugar a mi familia, a mi representante, a los hinchas, dirigentes, árbitros, empresarios, trabajadores de este deporte, cuerpo técnico, periodistas y a mis colegas futbolistas.

Gracias a los clubes argentinos e italianos donde jugué y especialmente a los que hicieron posible formar parte de la Selección Argentina. Mi continuidad en el fútbol será seguramente desde otro lugar. Rescindimos de común acuerdo con el club Al Arabi, mi último contrato como jugador.

Y a partir de ahora continuaré mis compromisos contractuales, publicitarios, empresariales y finalizaré los estudios a distancia para la dirección técnica.

Gracias por tanto afecto.

Gabriel Omar Batistuta
 

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All the best and good luck always to the magnificent goalscorer. I'll never forget his power and shooting accuracy.
 

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A great striker, I heard he wants to be a coach.
 

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Sound bloke too, from any interviews I've seen/read with him.
 

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Good luck BATIGOL,

The man is a legend for sure!
 
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