Former Arsenal, Tottenham and Perth Glory defender William Gallas has announced his retirement from football overnight, ending his 19 year career.
The former French international made 84 caps between 2002 and 2010, featured in two World Cups and European Championships.
The 37-year-old started his career with French outfit Caen before moving to fellow Ligue 1 side Marseille where he caught the attention of the English Premier League, in particular Chelsea.
The London side bought Gallas for £6.2 million in 2001 and the centre back spent five successful seasons at the club, playing a crucial role in winning back to back Premier League titles by building a solid partnership with John Terry and scoring vital goals down the other end. He also won both the Community Shield and League Cup in 2005.
Gallas was never one to shy away from the controversy and remained in the headlines throughout his career for a number of incidents including threatening to deliberately score own goals at Chelsea if they did not allow him to move to Arsenal. He then argubaly cost the Gunners the title in the 2007-08 season after performing a sit down protest in the middle of the field causing Arsenal to concede in a vital match where they needed to win.
After being stripped of the captaincy at Arsenal for criticising young players he then moved to rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2010 on a free transfer becoming the first player to play for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham. However, injuries ailed Gallas in his three year stint, making only 63 appearances.
Last year it was announced that the 2003 Confederations Cup winner would join Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono in the A-League, signing for Perth Glory. He made his debut in the round six clash against Adelaide, coming on as a substitute. and scored his first and only goal in a 1-1 draw against the Wellington Phoenix in March.
Gallas made 14 appearances in an injury riddled season before being released at the end of the season. – Chris Matthews-Darby
Top photo from Ronnie Macdonald’s Flickr photostream.