Former Dutch international Ruud van Nistelrooij has announced his retirement from football. The striker ended his playing career with Spanish side Malaga.
At a press conference, the 35-year-old told journalists, “I’ve played the last match of my professional career. I arrived at my physical limit and can't play at the maximum level. I couldn't have had a better send-off than this. I'm very happy that I'm the one taking the decision. I'd like to thank Malaga, the technical and medical staff for an unforgettable year. I am proud to have won collective and individual titles, but my greatest satisfaction was to be able to work day after day, year after year."
Van Nistelrooij has struggled with injury in recent years and managed to score just five times in 35 games for the Andalusia side. He started his playing career in 1994 with Dutch side Den Bosch before moving to Heerenveen in 1998. A year later, he transferred to Dutch Premier League giants PSV Eindhoven. He helped them to two league titles and firmly established himself in the Dutch international squad.
Van the Man
His greatest success came when he moved to Manchester United in April 2001; the £19 million transfer fee made him the most expensive footballer in the English Premier League. He was hugely popular with the fans, who nicknamed him 'Van the Man' and he scored 150 goals in 219 matches. He was chosen as the Premier league's best player in his first season and in 2003 was the league's top scorer. A disagreement with United boss Alex Ferguson led to a transfer to Spain's to Real Madrid in 2006.He scored 46 goals in 68 games and won the Spanish La Liga title in 2007 and 2008.
Injuries and competition from other strikers saw him being left on the bench more and more often and he transferred to Hamburg SV. After one-and-a-half seasons with the German side, he transferred to La Liga side Malaga.
He made his international debut in 1988; he went on to win 70 caps for Holland and scored 35 goals.
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