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Martin Skrtel announces retirement from football

Tom Gott
Skrtel has called time on his career
Skrtel has called time on his career / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Martin Skrtel has confirmed that he will retire from professional football once his season with Slovakian side Spartak Trnava comes to a close on Saturday.

The 37-year-old joined Trnava in August and was a regular feature in the league, although injuries have restricted him to just three appearances in his side's nine title play-off games.

Issues with his back have played a part in those absences and Skrtel has now confirmed that the injury has taken such a toll on his life that he has decided to walk away from football once his season is over.

"I think that, even at this age, I still have something to offer the team and I believe I could play at the top level, but then there is a medical condition," he explained.

"I have problems with my discs in my back, they limit me not only in football, but also in my personal life. I don't remember a day I spent without pain. I have been training and wrestling thanks to pills and injections in recent months.

"I had a problem walking 100m with my son and I wouldn't be able to handle the pain of every step, the pain is pretty bad. The worst is when running, jumping or impacts - things you need in football.

"Therefore, after 20 years of my career, I had to decide that the match with Dunajska will be my last and my career will be over, because I can no longer function like this.

"I would like to thank all the clubs, coaches, teammates and fans of all the clubs in all countries where I played. Of course to all my acquaintances, friends, and especially my family. Thanks to my wife, son, parents, siblings for standing by me all these years and always supporting me. Thank you.”

Skrtel is well remembered for his eight-year spell with Liverpool. The Slovak international joined in 2008 and went on to make 320 appearances for the Reds, winning the 2011/12 League Cup in the process.

He left for Fenerbahce in 2016 before spending time with Atalanta and Istanbul Basaksehir, eventually finding himself back in his homeland in the summer of 2021.