Former Czech Republic and Milan full-back Marek Jankulovski has retired from football at the age of 34 after the recurrence of serious ligament damage to his left knee.
Czech football star Marek Jankulovski, who won the Champions League with Milan, announced the end of his playing career on Monday.
The left back made the announcement at his home town club Banik Ostrava, where he returned at the start of the 2011-2012 season from his five year stint with Milan. He won the Champions League with the Italian club in 2007 and the Serie A league title for the 2010-2011 season.
The 34-year-old made his return appearance for Baník in October but was only on the pitch for seven minutes before receiving a knee injury which has since put him out of action.
“Immediately after the injury I was 99 percent certain that I would finish [my career]. I weighed things up for a while but to make a return after two such serious injuries is difficult,” Jankulovski, who was also a mainstay of the Czech national team, playing 77 times until 2009, said on the club’s website.
In April 2011, the player had surgery on his knee which forced him to miss the rest of the season with Milan.
Jankulovski joined the famous Italian club in 2005 after three years with Udinese. He left Baník Ostrava in 2000 for Napoli, where he stayed for two seasons.
The player made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1995 in the Czech league and continued in the blue and white of Baník for a further 110 league appearances.
Baník Ostrava announced new ownership for the struggling first Czech division club last week and a campaign to save the club.
A benefit game for Jankulovski, which should feature Milan stars such as Paolo Maldini, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo and Alexandre Pato should be staged at Banik’s ground at the end of this season, part-owner of the Czech club Petr Safarcik told Czech Position.
Jankulovski won the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League as well as the 2007 UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Milan, but made just five appearances as the Rossoneri won the Italian title in his final campaign with the club last term. He scored 12 times in 78 Czech Republic games, featuring at UEFA EURO 2000, UEFA EURO 2004 – where he won a bronze medal, the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008.
THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YOU DID FOR MILAN, (HALF)MACEDONIAN PRIDE!