Fluminense star Deco announces retirement
Fluminense playmaker Deco has announced his retirement from professional football after 17 years.
The ex-Portugal international began his career with Salgueiros in his native Brazil before winning a move to Porto in 1999, becoming a naturalised citizen of his adopted country in the process.
After the club's Champions League triumph in 2004, he left the Primeira Liga for Barcelona, spending four years at Camp Nou before moving to Chelsea.
The 35-year-old left European football for good in 2010, returning to Brazil with Fluminense, and has decided to call it a day on the eve of his 36th birthday.
"With great sadness and regret I announce the end of my career as a professional athlete," he is quoted as saying by AS.
"The last minutes with Fluminense on Wednesday were my last of my 17 years as a footballer.
"I would have loved to continue until the end of the Brasileiro and help the team get back in the Libertadores but my body wouldn't let me.
"I'm very grateful for all the trust and affection."
Deco has spent three years with Fluminense and led them to the Brasileirão title last season.