Former Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini has announced his retirement from football.
The 36-year-old played for Atalanta, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Inter, Milan, Verona and Levante and was the first ever player to score in the new Wembley stadium with Italy U21 team in 2007.
Pazzini announced his retirement on Instagram.
“Ciao CALCIO,” he wrote.
“It’s been over 30 years since we met… I was a child the first time I held a ball in my hands and since then you have become to me like an inseparable friend.
“I was just another kid, with a life ahead of me and a thousand dreams in the drawer, hoping to one day become a Serie A footballer.
“I watched the great champions on TV and with them I dreamed of the blue jersey of the national team, the magic of full stadiums and the Champions League; but I never thought that one day all this would become reality and that thanks to you I could live so many emotions.
“That child gradually grew up and thanks to you he realized all his dreams, one by one. You know what I say: ‘It was all even more beautiful than I imagined!’ But now we’ve come to our reckoning and it’s time to let you rest, I think it’s right.
“I could have continued to live a little more those feelings and emotions that only you can give me. Maybe yes. The child within me would have wanted to continue to do so, but the man tells me that the time has come to say goodbye also because I already know that I will miss all this even in 20, 30, 40 years, so: Thank you for everything!
It was a crazy journey.”