Huddersfield Town captain Mark Hudson has retired from playing and moved into a coaching role with the club

Huddersfield captain Mark Hudson has retired ahead of the new Premier League season and joined the top-flight newcomers’ coaching staffvjust four days before the start of the new season.

The 35-year-old defender won his third promotion to the uppermost division in May – the previous two having come with Crystal Palace and Cardiff.

Hudson played nearly 500 games in his career, over 100 of which came across three seasons with the Terriers.

He signed a three-year deal with the Yorkshire club in April 2016 and although his exact role in David Wagner’s coaching set-up is yet to be defined, it was a transition that was anticipated when that contract was penned.

“I’m very happy that Mark is becoming part of my back-room staff,” Wagner said.

“From my first day in England, Mark has been one of the biggest positives. He is a huge influence in our dressing room – a total professional with a winning mentality – and that was why securing his future to Huddersfield Town was so important last April.

As a player and a potential coach, it was vital that we keep Mark here.

“Make no mistake, Mark made a huge contribution to the success this club enjoyed in 2016-17, both through his performances on the field and his influence off it.

“I believe the qualities that Mark has as a person and a footballer should make him an excellent coach. I know retirement can feel like a sad day as a former player, but he has so much still to give this club and football, and that is exciting.

“We will all help Mark as much as we can as he makes the transition into coaching and continues to learn, but I’m sure he will still be a big help and influence on our squad as we prepare for the Premier League.”

Hudson later posted a message on Instagram which read:

“It’s official. I can honestly look back on my playing career with so many amazing memories.

“The players I’ve played with the mangers I’ve worked with and currently working for, I thank you all. “I will miss playing and certainly leading the team out. I am not sad as i am a positive person and know this opportunity doesn’t come around very often.

I will waste no time and give my full attention to the next stage of my career.

“I have to thank all my family and my wife @ml_hudson for the support they have given me and will continue to do so x. Lots to learn.. #happymemories #focused #nextstage.”

Antonio Cassano signs for Hellas Verona, retires, unretires, then retires from professional football

Antonio Cassano’s eventful career has come to an eventful conclusion. The former Roma and Real Madrid forward caused raised eyebrows earlier this month when he announced he was retiring just eight days after signing for Serie A side Hellas Verona.

But within hours he had a change of heart and said he would stay, adding he wanted to “rise to the challenge” and have a “crazy season”.

Six days later, and after playing in two pre-season friendlies for his new side, the 35-year-old has again said he is retiring.

Cassano, who won 39 caps for Italy, has not played a league game since May 2016 and was released by Sampdoria in January.

On Monday, his wife Carolina Marcialis said he would leave Verona but still hoped to find another club.

Cassano later clarified that he had retired. “As opposed to what appeared on my wife’s official social profiles, I would like to clarify my future,” he said in a statement.

“Carolina got it wrong. After thinking and reflecting in the end I decided – Antonio Cassano will not be playing football any more. “I apologise to the city of Verona, to all the fans, to president Maurizio Setti, to sports director Filippo Fusco, to coach Fabio Pecchia, to my team-mates and to the medical and technical staff.

“For a 35-year-old man it’s the motivation that guides my life, and at this moment I feel that my priority is that I’ll be staying close to my children and my wife.”

Cassano and his family live in Genoa, which is about 300km (186 miles) away from Verona.

Having called a news conference last week to announce his retirement, Cassano told the reporters who attended that he had been homesick but regretted saying he would quit.

“I had a moment of weakness,” he said at the time. “I had a meeting with Fabio Pecchia and the others to say that I wanted to stop. “I was yearning for my family but the club’s management has asked them to come and they gave me the strength to carry on. I want to rise to the challenge and have a crazy season.”

Cassano started his career at his hometown club Bari before rising to prominence at Roma, where he scored 39 goals in 118 games.

He then had an unsuccessful season at Real Madrid before spells at Sampdoria, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Parma.

Cassano, who scored 10 times for Italy, was diagnosed with a defect in his heart and had surgery in November 2011. He was fined by Uefaafter saying he hoped there were no homosexuals in the Italy squad for Euro 2012.

Burnley and former Tottenham goalkeeper Paul Robinson retires from professional football 


Ex-England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has retired from the game, his former club Burnley have announced.

Robinson, 37, made 375 top-flight appearances for Leeds, Tottenham, Blackburn and the Clarets, as well as featuring for England on 41 occasions.

He signed a new one-year deal at Turf Moor last summer and Burnley confirmed that he had now decided to call time on his career.

Robinson said: “Unfortunately, my back problem returned towards the end of last season and has prevented me being ready for the start of the new season. Taking everything into consideration I’ve decided to announce my retirement.

“I have been very fortunate to play the game I love for so many years and make it my career.

“I intend to take a short time out to spend time with my family and explore the different options available to me.

“I would like to sincerely thank all my family and friends who have stood by me throughout my playing career.

“I have been very lucky to play for four very special football clubs and my country. I would like to say a huge thank-you to the supporters and staff of every one as I was able to build a very special relationship with each.

“I would like to say thank-you to Sean Dyche, Billy Mercer, the staff and players at Burnley who gave me the chance to play in the premier league again at 37 years old.

“In all my career I have never been a part of a more dedicated, hard-working set of players and staff.

“I wish them and all my former clubs the very best of luck for next season.”

Burnley boss Dyche, who signed Robinson in January, 2016 after he had spent a few months out of the game, said: “Paul played a big part in what we have achieved over the past couple of seasons – literally at times last season – and always as an important member of the group.

“He made a big contribution during his time at Burnley and we would all like to wish him well in his next venture, as well as making sure that he will always welcome back at Turf Moor.”

Former Swansea striker Michu retires

​Former Swansea striker Michu has retired from football due to injury.

The 31-year-old played for boyhood club Real Oviedo last season, making 27 appearances and scoring one goal.

The Spaniard spent three seasons at Swansea, moving to the Liberty Stadium from Rayo Vallecano in the summer of 2012 for a fee of around £2m.

He hit the ground running with the Swansea, scoring seven goals in his first nine matches for the club.

In his first season with the Welsh club he went on to score 22 goals and his form saw him called up for Spain in October, 2013.

He made his debut for the national side in the same week, starting in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Belarus, but that proved to be his only appearance.

Injury then started to hamper Michu, who scored just six goals in 24 appearances during the 2013/14 season.

He then moved to Napoli on loan but he endured another frustrating period in Serie A as injury restricted him to just five appearances under Rafa Bentiez.

Spells on the sidelines were becoming a regular occurrence for Michu and he moved to the fourth tier of Spanish football with amateur side UP Langreo, before returning to Oviedo.

However, injury issues have continued which has forced him to retire from professional football.

Reports in Spain suggest Michu will now look to move into coaching and a role with Oviedo has been touted as he looks to remain involved in football.

Per Mertesacker to take charge of Arsenal academy after retirement next season

Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker will take charge of the club’s academy at the end of the 2017-18 season, when he will retire as a player, the club have announced.
Mertesacker will play for the club in the coming season after being handed a one-year contract extension in January, but will also prepare for a switch to a coaching role.
Current academy boss Luke Hobbs, who replaced Andries Jonker when he left to manage Wolfsburg last spring, will remain in the role for the 2017/18 season.

Arsenal club captain Mertesacker told the club’s website: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for me and I am delighted that I will be able to stay part of the Arsenal family.
“This season I will remain fully focused on my job with the team and am looking forward to a successful last season on the pitch.

“After that, I look forward to the exciting challenge of helping produce young players good enough to play for the Arsenal first team.”
Arsene Wenger added: “Per is an exceptional character who is a great example for young players.

“He is a deep thinker about the game and committed to helping players fulfil their potential. He will be an inspirational figure for everyone connected with the academy.”

Former Chelsea, West Ham, Spurs midfielder Scott Parker retires from football 

Former England international Scott Parker has officially announced his retirement from football.

The 36-year-old began his career at Charlton, before playing for Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham, Tottenham, and most recently Fulham. He was capped by England on 18 occasions in a career which spanned two decades.

Parker was also named the Footballer Writers’ Player of the Year in 2011 during his four-season spell at West Ham.

“The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement released to Sky Sports on Wednesday.

“When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker made 31 appearances for Fulham last season, with his last professional outing coming as a second-half substitute in their 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the Championship season. He was an unused substitute in both legs of Fulham’s play-off defeat against Reading.

Parker made his professional debut as a teenager for Charlton in 1997. He made nearly 150 appearances for the east Londoners before Claudio Ranieri took him to Chelsea for £10million in January 2004, shortly after Roman Abramovich had taken over the Stamford Bridge outfit.

The midfielder however, found opportunities at the Blues hard to come by and was sold to Newcastle the following year. Parker captained the Magpies after Alan Shearer retired -but following 55 Premier League appearances on Tyneside he headed back to London to sign for West Ham.

Parker became an integral player for the Hammers, making more than 100 league starts, before he handed in a transfer request following their relegation to the Championship. Tottenham would be Parker’s next stop. He enjoyed two seasons at White Hart Lane but signed a three-year deal at Fulham in 2013 which expired this summer.

The midfielder played every match of England’s Euro 2012 campaign under Roy Hodgson and featured for the Three Lions at all age levels. His last international appearance was as a second-half replacement for Frank Lampard in England’s 8-0 World Cup qualifying victory at San Marino in May 2013.

Alvaro Arbeloa retires from football

​Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and West Ham defender Alvaro Arbeloa has announced his retirement.

The 34-year-old former Spain full-back made three Premier League appearances for the Hammers last season before being released.

He spent three years with the Reds before returning to Madrid, for whom he made his senior debut, in 2009.

Arbeloa won one La Liga title and the Champions League twice at Madrid before signing for West Hamlast August.

“It’s time to say goodbye,” he said. “Physically I was OK to keep playing.”

“I always thought I would play until my legs held out, but in the end it was a head and motivation issue,” he told Marca.
Many times you consider life in a way or see the future in a way, but life has other things prepared and you have to know how to accept them and face them.
“Things this season did not come out as I had dreamed. I am being honest with myself when I say goodbye.” 
He added: “It has been complicated. It’s something that when it comes to my mind I try not to think much about.
“At a professional level it has not been an easy year and that also has a personal impact, of course.”

He made more than 200 appearances in total for Liverpool, Madrid and West Ham between 2007 and 2017 and was capped 56 times by Spain.

He was part of his country’s World Cup-winning squad in 2010 and helped them win the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.