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At 36, Batistuta calls time on career
Posted: Monday March 14, 2005

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- 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 a statement 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 after playing briefly with Inter Milan.

Batistuta, who retired from Argentina's national team three years ago, 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 Supercup in 1995 and 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 truly is and i would like to see him return to the club in the form of a forwards coach/mentor
 

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Copy/paste from Channel4:
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"I will certainly continue in football in a different role," he added. "I will continue with my contractual, publicity and managerial commitments and finish my studies for coaching."
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So I really hope that he finds his way back to Fiorentina :hopefull: :shades: :smileani:
 

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Farewell to "batigol"A true legend of the game and one I'll never forget.
 

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A good playa...too bad Argentina never went anywhere with him :moan:
 

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Great player :shades:
 

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I hope he never becomes manager of Fiorentina.

If he does, the day will inevitably come when the owner has to fire him, and I couldn't bear to see that.

Better to remember him as the winning player he was.
 

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Respect to a great person and a great footballer.

A person like him is definitely missed in Serie A these days...
 

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thanx for everything, a true legend and one of my favorites regardless of what shirt he wore. the magic will be missed.
 
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