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Vasco da Gama star Juninho retires

Former Brazil international Juninho Pernambucano has retired from football, his club, Vasco da Gama, have confirmed.

Juninho Pernambucano is set to leave Al-Gharafa this summer
Juninho Pernambucano has ended his playing career.

Vasco da Gama president Roberto Dinamite told reporters that Juninho, who turned 39 on Thursday, had held talks with him during the week and, as a consequence of the adductor injury that blighted his end to the last domestic season, had decided to bring an end to his playing career.

"I want to announce the official decision of Juninho Pernambucano," Dinamite said. "We spoke during the week, and he has decided to end his career. On Monday, Juninho will bid farewell to Vasco. He'll give a press conference, and you'll be able to ask him whatever you like."

In a career spanning more than 800 professional games, the midfielder forged his reputation at Vasco before arriving at Lyon in 2001, where he was one of the principal architects of their unprecedented seven successive Ligue 1 titles.

He left in 2009 to spend two years at Qatari club Al Gharafa and also had a brief spell with New York Red Bulls in 2013, sandwiched between two further stints at Vasco.

"It was a privilege to work with Juninho, even for a short time," Vasco coach Adilson Batista said. "We know it's difficult to do this. It was a privilege to spend just a little time together. Juninho has a beautiful history with Vasco, and will never be forgotten here."

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