Chelsea defender Albert Ferrer has revealed he will retire from the
game when his contract expires this summer.
Ferrer is a fans' favourite at Stamford Bridge
Ferrer, 32, has spent five years at Chelsea and was a mainstay of
the defence under Gianluca Vialli.
But he has become a peripheral figure amid injury
problems since Claudio Ranieri took charge more than two years ago.
Ferrer's contract will not be renewed and the former Spanish international right-back is
close to calling it a day on his career.
"I'm going back home to Barcelona. My idea now is probably to stop football,
but you never know," said Ferrer.
"If something comes up, I might think about it but some rest
is now in my mind.
When you've been left out of the team for two years, it's hard to carry
"My wife has said that I should take one year completely off as we love
"I would like to do some television or something related with
football after that, but we'll have to see."
Ferrer joined Chelsea in the summer of 1998 for £2.2m from Barcelona,
where he won five domestic titles and the 1992 European Cup during his eight
seasons at the club.
He was the first-choice right-back in the Chelsea team which finished third in the
Premiership in his first season before reaching the quarter-finals of the
Champions League the next year, only to go out to Barcelona.
Injury then prevented him from taking part in the 2000 FA Cup final, meaning
that the 1998 European Super Cup was the only trophy that he actually won at
Ferrer, who made 113 appearances for the club and scored one goal, told
Chelsea TV: "I thought it would be more difficult to leave Barcelona but I have
really enjoyed these five years at Chelsea.
"Some years more than others but I take very good memories of Chelsea back
"I feel that I could maybe carry on playing for another couple of years but
the experience of the past couple of years has been quite difficult for me.
"When you're playing every week, you feel part of the team and you can carry
on. But when you've been left out of the team for two years, it's hard to carry