Ex-Atlético Madrid, Uruguay defender Diego Godín retires

Uruguayan defender Diego Godín retired from football on Sunday following Vélez Sarsfield's 1-0 loss to Huracán in the last Argentine league game of the season, bringing the curtain down on an illustrious 20-year playing career.

The former Atlético Madrid captain made 627 professional appearances, scored 38 goals and won 10 titles, including two Europa League trophies and three UEFA Super Cups with the Spanish club.

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"I wanted to make the decision this way, being healthy, it may seem surprising, but I had been considering it for a while," the 37-year-old Godín told Argentine TV.

"Now there are other priorities. My family is in Uruguay and I recently became a dad, I want to rest and enjoy other things, and I wanted to try to leave with a good image on the pitch."

Uruguay's Nacional considered signing Godín, a source close to the player told Reuters, but the centre-back made his final decision to step away from the pitch after his daughter's birth last month.

Godín started his career in 2003 with Uruguayan side CA Cerro. He went on to play for Nacional in 2006 before his move to Spain's Villarreal a season later.

The defender then joined Atlético in 2010, where he made a name for himself as he captained the team during nine seasons.

Godín arrived at Velez in mid-2022 following a successful European run that also included spells at Inter Milan and Cagliari, and after spending six months at Brazil's Atletico Mineiro.

He was capped 161 times by Uruguay and featured in four World Cups as part of a golden generation that won the 2011 Copa America and finished fourth at the 2010 World Cup.