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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Zidane to retire after World Cup
Zinedine Zidane
The World Cup will be Zidane's swansong
Real Madrid's French international Zinedine Zidane is to retire after the World Cup finals in Germany.

"It's my decision and it's final," the France and Real Madrid playmaker told French television channel Canal+.

The 33-year-old Zidane has a year to run on his contract at Real but injuries have dogged him over the last couple of seasons.

Real signed him from Juventus for $66m (37m) in 2001 - making him at that time the world's most expensive player.

The following season he scored the winning goal to earn the Bernabeu outfit their ninth European Cup triumph in the final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Zidane, who cited Real's poor results as one of the reasons for his decision, added: "I have to listen to my body and I cannot carry on for another year.

"I think it is better to clarify the situation now. I have been thinking about it for a long time.

"It's been three years since we (Madrid) won anything, and in two of those, I've not played as I've wanted.

"I am not going to play any better than I have done in the past. I don't want to just play for Real Madrid for the sake of it."



SEE ALSO
Trio's France return is confirmed
11 Aug 05 |  Internationals
Zidane takes Vieira captain role
07 Aug 05 |  Internationals
Legend Zidane to retire in 2007
04 Feb 05 |  Europe


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