FORMER Tottenham Hotspur and England national team striker, Jermain Defoe has officially announced his retirement as a professional footballer.
Defoe has decided to hang up his boots at the age of 39 and the last club he played for was Rangers after joining in January from Sunderland. He has made seven appearances for the Scottish club since arriving at Ibrox Stadium.
Through his Twitter account, Defoe stated that now was the ‘right time to step back’ after such an incredible career. He also said that football was an extraordinary thing that happened in his life.
“After 22 years in football, I have decided to retire from professional football. This is a very difficult decision and I have discussed it with my family and those closest to me,” he wrote, quoted by the Daily Mail on Thursday.
“I made my professional debut at the age of 17 in 1999 and I feel now is the right time to step back. I’ve had an incredible journey and have met some amazing people in the sport.”
“Football will always be in my blood and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to look back on the career I had. Now I look forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family before moving on to the next chapter of my career.”
“Thank you to all the fans from every club I have played for. The love I have received and experienced throughout my career will never be forgotten, and I will always have a special bond with all of you.”
Dafoe also did not forget to thank his former teammates, coaches and club staff he had played for. “Thanks also to my amazing team-mates, coach and staff for playing an integral part in my career.”
“Finally, I want to thank my mother. You gave me the ball at the age of two and you made me believe my dream could come true. All I am is because of you, and I owe everything to you and God.”
During his time as a footballer, Dafoe could only win two championship titles. He won the 2008 League Cup with Tottenham Hotspur and the Scottish League trophy with Rangers in the 2020/21 season while still being coached by Steven Gerrard.
Defoe’s career started at West Ham and he played 105 times for the Hammers. He scored 41 goals before controversially joining rival club Tottenham for around £6m