One of the most celebrated players ever to don the Selecao jersey, Brazilian legend Rivaldo, announced his retirement from football at the age of 41 this week, via social image-sharing network Instagram.
The ex-Barcelona ace confirmed the news through an interview with his former club, via their official website, reiterating the note that came attached to his Instagram post:
With tears in my eyes today I would like first to thank God, my family and all the support, the affection that I received during those 24 years as a player. Today I communicate to all my fans in the world, my history as a player came to the end. Just I have to thank the lovely career I have built over these years. There were many obstacles, challenges, waivers, longings, disappointments, but were much greater joys, achievements, growth, change.
Sometimes teaching other learning but never lost my focus, always with dedication, determination and direction of God. In this long journey, many people passed through my life, some for a period, other friends who remain until now. I built my career upon a miracle, leaving in Paulista, no financial resources, no businessman, incentives only of my family, discredited by doctors and trainers, saw a distant dream come true.
With persistence, dedication and especially with the hand of God, I came to be recognized as the best player in the world, world champion, among many other important titles in the history of football. Among trophies, medals, awards and titles, in a land where everything is consumed, here I leave a story, perhaps an example, but surely a testimony that is worth believing and fighting. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Cor 9:25
Rivaldo stands as one of the most iconic football figures from the 1990s and early 2000s; winner of the 1999 Ballon d'Or and one of the main influences in Brazil's 2002 World Cup triumph.
The torch is now passed to his son Rivaldinho, who plays for Brazilian Serie C side Mogi Mirim, of which Rivaldo is president.