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Rivaldo set to retire in December - report

Rivaldo looks set to bring his memorable career to a close
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Reports in Brazil claim that veteran forward and former European Player of the Year Rivaldo is set to retire from professional football in December.

Marca Brasil recently published that the 39-year-old Sao Paulo player had told friends he would call time on his illustrious playing career at the end of the current Campeonato Brasileiro campaign, after not having the impact he had hoped for at the club.

He joined from Uzbek side Bunyodkor in January and has played 34 times since, but has only lasted the full 90 minutes on two occasions. He has been involved in the first team more under new coach Adilson Batista, but has still been unable to recapture his best form.

Rivaldo's contract is set to expire at the end of the current season, which was reportedly another factor in his decision to quit. The Sao Paulo board have not guaranteed that he will be offered an extension, and as a result he looks set to call it a day.

After starting his career in Brazil, his big break came when he joined Deportivo La Coruna in 1996. Just one year later, his impressive displays persuaded Barcelona to pay $26 million to bring him to the Nou Camp.

It proved to be money well spent, as he helped the club to two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and the UEFA Super Cup. On a personal level, he also won the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the year in 1999.

He later had spells at Milan, Cruzeiro, Olympiacos and AEK Athens, and was a key member of the Brazil squad during their victorious 2002 World Cup campaign, scoring five goals in the tournament.

It was the second World Cup he played in, having also scored three goals in France 98 as Brazil finished runners-up. He was voted the 'MVP' when the Seleção won the 1999 Copa America, and in total made 74 appearances for Brazil, scoring 34 goals.

Should he go ahead with his retirement plans, he would follow in the footsteps of former Brazil teammate Ronaldo, who also hung up his boots earlier this year.

 
 

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