Former Slovakia captain Marek Hamšík to retire from soccer at end of season

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Former Slovakia captain Marek Hamšík is retiring from soccer at the end of the season.

“Wonderful 19 years of professional career,” Hamšík wrote on Facebook on Thursday. “More than seven hundred competitive matches in clubs, almost 140 duels for the Slovakia national team. Many – many goals scored.”

The 35-year-old playmaker made a record 136 international appearances for his country and scored a record 26 goals.

“Soccer was my love, my passion and my job to which I gave everything,” he wrote.

Hamšík captained Slovakia to its only World Cup appearance at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, where the Slovaks eliminated defending champion Italy and reached the round of 16.

With Hamšík, Slovakia also qualified for the 2016 and 2020 European Championships. He retired from international soccer a year ago.

At club level, he made the biggest mark at Italian club Napoli, where he spent his best years from 2007-19.

He scored 121 goals for Napoli, more than Diego Maradona, and played a record 520 games for the Serie A club, winning the Italian Cup twice.

He also played for Slovan Bratislava in his native Slovakia, Italian club Brescia, Chinese team Dalian Pro and Swedish club Gothenburg. He’s currently with Trabzonspor in Turkey, where he won the league last season.


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