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Deco hangs up his boots

Former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Deco has announced his retirement from football.

Deco has struggled with injuries since moving to Fluminense last summer
Deco joined Fluminense in 2010.

The 35-year-old, who has been at Fluminense since moving back to Brazil in 2010, has called it a day after struggling with persistent injury problems.

The former Portugal international confirmed his decision on Monday, although he expressed his regret at not being able to play on for longer.

"My muscles can't take anymore. I would have liked to help Fluminense much more but my body isn't allowing me to,” he said.

“I think everyone is clear that I dedicated myself, I put forth effort, and I supported my continuing until the end of the year. From the physical aspect, I could play but my muscles can't take any more."

Deco was born in Brazil but moved to Portugal as a teenager, where he had short spells at Benfica and Salgueiros, before making his name at Porto.

Playing under Jose Mourinho, he helped the club to both the UEFA Cup and the Champions League, earning himself a big-money move to Barcelona in 2004 in the process.

Deco spent four years at the Camp Nou -- winning another Champions League -- and signed for Chelsea in 2008, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup Double before moving on to Fluminense.

The midfielder also won 75 caps for Portugal, for whom he claimed citizenship, and scored five goals.


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