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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 August, 2004, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Luis Enrique bows out
Luis Enrique
Enrique was a firm fans' favourite
Former Spain, Barcelona and Real Madrid midfielder Luis Enrique has retired from football at the age of 34.

"I do not see myself being able to compete, so I'll watch this season from the stands," he told his website.

He made his Spanish debut in 1991 while playing for Sporting Gijon and won 62 caps before quitting internationals after the 2002 World Cup.

He joined Real Madrid in 1991 and won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics before making a move to Barcelona in 1996.

Luis Enrique became a hugely-popular attacking midfielder at Barca, scoring 35 league goals in 69 appearances during his first two seasons.

But his final years at the Nou Camp were hit by injury and he did not seek a renewal of his contract at the end of last term.

He had been tipped for a move back home to Sporting Gijon but concerns about his fitness persuaded him to quit the game rather than take advantage of the club where he started.

"I wouldn't be able to reach the level I'd demand of myself," he admitted. "I wouldn't be doing Sporting much of a favour by going there."


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