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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Di Natale announces retirement

Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

Udinese finished fifth to qualify for Europe for the third consecutive season.
Antonio Di Natale is a legend at the club.

Di Natale, 36, has enjoyed a fine career in Italy, netting 182 goals for Udinese in 359 games and also finding the net 11 times in 42 caps for Italy.

“The decision has already been made,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I talked it over with my family and my agent, so I’ve decided this is my last campaign. It all ends in June.”

Di Natale has been hit with criticism lately, having failed to hit the heights of success this season, and admitted that it stung.

“It does hurt, because I’ve scored more goals for Udinese than I’ve gone out for dinner with my wife,” he said. “I care about Udinese, as this club is like my family.”

The striker has been at the Stadio Friuli since July 2004 and, oddly, coach Francesco Guidolin told media he "knew nothing about this," adding: "I still hope it was just a moment of disappointment and he can change his mind."

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