Football: Striker Ciprian Marica announces retirement

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Romanian football international Ciprian Marica has announced his retirement at only 31 years old due to physical problems which affected his career in recent years.

“I’ve always been open to you, but it is not easy to say this: my physical condition does not allow me to do things at the same level as you deserve. So I am putting an end to my career as a footballer,” Marica said in a message to fans posted on his Facebook account.

“I started to play football fascinated by the nights spent in the streets for the successes of the Golden Generation. I started football convinced that I can get other children in the street with the same dream: to play with the flag on my chest! I was Hagi I was Lupescu, I was Popescu, I was Răducioiu, I was Dorinel, I was Ilie (Dumitrescu – our note), I was Petrescu, Lacatus, Sabau, Stelea, Prunea, Mihali, Prodan. I was supporter and footballer. I was on your lips when I scored, I was on your nerves when things went wrong! I saw you happy on the fences, I felt the pain after our defeats and I wanted to get you up as much as it stood in my power. Whenever I saw tears in your eyes, I forgot about my tears. You helped me to get on my feet when I could not do it by myself,” Marica wrote.

Marica recognizes that football has taught him to love and respect “the neighbour and the opponent”, “to live beautiful” and “to be proud” with the national team.

“Thank you for being able to love you, Romania! Thank you football for everything that you have given me! Thank you all for everything you conveyed me, for your appreciations and your encouragements,” Marica also wrote.

Marica’s first professional club team was Dinamo Bucharest where he played when he was only 16 years old. He started to gain attention even though he only played 23 games (scoring four goals) in three years with the club.

In 2004 he got transferred to Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk, where he played for three years. He also played for VFB Stuttgart, Schalke, Getafe and Konyaspor, and last year for Steaua Bucharest.

He won five trophies, all with Shakhtar Donetsk: three Ukraine champion titles (2005, 2006, 2008), the Ukraine Cup (2004) and Ukraine Supercup (2006).

Marica played 71 matched for the national team of Romania and scored 25 goals.

On March 25, 2008 he was decorated by the president of Romania Traian Băsescu for the results on Qualifying to EURO 2008 and qualification to UEFA Euro 2008 Group C with the medal ‘Meritul Sportiv’- (The Medal “The Sportive Merit”) class III.

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