Panucci announces retirement

ROME, Aug 23, 2010 (AFP) - Former Italy international Christian Panucci has announced his retirement from football at the age of 37.

In a glorious 20-year career the right back, who could also play in the middle of defence, represented AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea, amongst other teams.

He won the Champions League with both Milan and Madrid and lifted titles in Italy and Spain.

"I had other offers from the United States but I don't have the same desire as before, it's right to say enough," he told Sky Sport 24.

Panucci reserved special thanks for England coach Fabio Capello, with whom he worked at Milan, Madrid and AS Roma.

"Being the first Italian at Real Madrid and having won the Champions League was one of the best moments," he added about his three years in Spain.

However, one man against whom Panucci still bares a grudge is World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi.

Despite representing Italy over a 14-year period, Panucci was not selected by Lippi for the 2006 World Cup.

The pair had fallen out when Lippi was coach and Panucci player at Inter.

"I spoke badly about him when I was a player so go figure what I'd say now I've finished. I wouldn't go to dinner with him," he said.

Following eight seasons at Roma, Panucci, who began his career with Genao, spent his last season at Parma.

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