• Short Summary

    Injured Dutch winger Marc Overmars calls time on
    playing career.

    Dutch international Marc?

  • Description

    Injured Dutch winger Marc Overmars calls time on
    playing career.

    Dutch international Marc Overmars announced his
    retirement from football on Monday (July 26), blaming the
    decision on persistent injury problems.

    The 31-year-old winger told a news conference at
    Barcelona where he has played since July 2000:
    "My footballing future ends now. My knee is causing too
    many problems and I can't play at the level I would wish."
    Overmars became the most expensive Dutch player of all
    time and the most expensive player in Barcelona history
    when he signed from Arsenal in July 2000 for a fee of
    around 36 million euros -- a deal which also included his
    Arsenal team mate Emmanuel Petit.

    Overmars' task was to replace Luis Figo, the Portuguese
    winger who had been poached by Real Madrid, but he failed
    to produce the sort of eye-catching attacking form he
    regularly showed at Arsenal and Barcelona told him at the
    end of last season that he could leave the club.

    The arrival of Overmars at Barcelona in 2000 coincided
    with a lean spell for the club and he could not help the
    Catalans to a single major title in his four years in

    He scored eight league goals in 31 appearances in a
    first season that was acceptable rather than spectacular
    and that proved to be his most successful campaign.

    He failed to score in 20 league games the following
    season, scored six in 26 games in 2002-03 and managed one
    league goal in 20 games last term.

    Overmars becomes the fifth Dutch player to leave
    Barcelona since the end of last season, following the
    departures of Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger, Philip
    Cocu and Edgar Davids.

    Overmars said on Monday (July 26) he would leave
    without recompense of the one year remaining on his

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta thanked him for that
    gesture, saying: "It's an act of sincerity and respect for
    the club.

    "It's a mark of great dignity for him to say he can no
    longer player at the level Barcelona require and to
    renounce his contract."
    Overmars played for the Netherlands at Euro 2004 in
    Portugal in June but opted against looking for a new club
    for the forthcoming season, following Barcelona's decision
    to let him go.

    The popular player made his Dutch international debut
    against Turkey in February 1993 and represented his country
    86 times, making him the third highest-capped Dutch player
    after Frank de Boer (112 caps) and Edwin van der Sar (89).

    He scored 17 goals for his country.

    He started his career at Go Ahead Eagles before playing
    for Willem II, Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona and retires
    having won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, three
    Dutch titles with Ajax, one English title with Arsenal and
    a string of other honours.

    They included a 1998 FA Cup final win with Arsenal in
    which he scored in a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United
    as Arsenal completed an English league and cup double.

    Factbox on Dutch international Marc Overmars who announced
    his retirement as a player:
    Date of birth: March 29, 1973
    Place of birth: Emst, Netherlands
    International debut: February 24, 1993 v Turkey
    International caps: 86
    International goals: 17

    Ajax Amsterdam: European Cup (1995), European Super Cup
    (1996), Intercontinental Cup (1995), Dutch
    first division (1994, 1995, 1996), Dutch Cup (1993), Dutch
    Super Cup (1993, 1994, 1995)
    Arsenal: English premier league (1998), English FA Cup
    (1998), English Charity Shield (1998, 1999)
    1990: Begins career with Go Ahead Eagles, moves on to
    Willem II Tilburg the following season.

    1992: Joins Ajax Amsterdam from Willem II Tilburg.

    1993: Makes international debut for Netherlands against

    1994: Member of Dutch squad that reached the quarter-finals
    of the World Cup.

    1995: Won European Cup with Ajax Amsterdam.

    1996: Wins third consecutive Dutch championship with Ajax
    but missed out on Euro 96 squad due to injury.

    1997: Transferred to Arsenal, where he won the league and
    FA cup double in his first season. Scored in the FA Cup
    final win against Newcastle United.

    1998: Member of Dutch squad that reached the semi-finals of
    the World Cup.

    2000: Member of Dutch squad that reached the semi-finals of
    the European Championship. Moved from Arsenal to Barcelona
    for 36.0 million euros, still a record transfer fee for a
    Dutch player.

    2004: May - Released by Barcelona.

    June - Member of Dutch squad that reached the semi-finals
    of the European Championship. Made 86th and final
    international appearance in semi-final against Portugal,
    leaving him third in the list of all-time Dutch
    international appearances.

    July - Announces retirement from football aged 31 due to
    injury problems.

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