Ex-Chelsea, Arsenal defender Gallas announces retirement from football
Former France defender William Gallas on Thursday ended a career that spanned nearly 20 years and saw him play for all three of London’s top clubs.
The 37-year-old Gallas started at French club Caen in 1995 before moving to Chelsea in 2001, and went on to have stints at both Arsenal and its north London rival Tottenham.
Gallas, who has 84 international caps with France and was a member of the squad that lost to Italy in the 2006 World Cup final, won the Premier League title twice, in 2005 and 2006 with Chelsea.
"One always thinks he can keep going, but today I can’t take it anymore," the former Marseille player said in an interview with L’Equipe 21 TV channel to be aired later Thursday.
Gallas scored five goals with France, including the controversial equalizer that sent his country to the 2010 World Cup in a playoff win over Ireland after Thierry Henry used his hand to control the ball before crossing it to his teammate.
France exited the tournament in South Africa in a miserable fashion, as Raymond Domenech’s players went on strike at a training session shortly before they were eliminated at the group stage. Gallas, who ended his international career following the tournament, blamed Domenech for the fiasco, saying the problems came from the coach’s poor management.
Gallas, who left for the Premier League after playing for Marseille from 1997-2001, was also a disruptive figure at Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger stripped him of the Gunners captaincy after he publicly criticized his teammates in an interview with The Associated Press.
Gallas moved to Arsenal from Chelsea in 2006 in a deal that saw Ashley Cole move the other way, before joining Tottenham in 2010.
Gallas was released by Spurs at the end of the 2012-13 season and he signed a one-year deal with Perth Glory in Australia’s A-League.