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By ESPN Staff

Campbell seeking fresh challenge abroad

England defender Sol Campbell has ruled out the possibility of hanging up his boots despite his surprise decision to leave Arsenal and revealed a dream to play abroad.

The 31-year-old endured a mixed season with the Gunners last term, the low point being when he stormed out of Highbury after being substituted at half-time against West Ham in February.

Many questioned whether Campbell would ever return to action following that incident but he eventually went on to star in the Champions League final loss to Barcelona.

'People point to the West Ham game and the controversy about me going home. But that wasn't about me losing my love for the game, or fearing I couldn't play at the top any more,' Campbell told the News of the World.

'It was about an injury - a long-standing injury that if I'd gone on could have ruined my World Cup chances, could even have ended my career.

'I decided I didn't want to put it all at risk and that I had to take care, sort myself out and then come back when I knew I was ready.'

And having proved the doubters wrong, Campbell is now seeking a new challenge after five glorious years at Arsenal.

He added: 'It all comes down to timing. At the end of last season I felt I needed a fresh start and I told Arsenal that. I told Arsene Wenger and David Dein and it's just gone from there.

'We spoke about it and the more we spoke the more we all realised that the situation was actually good for both parties

'They realised it was best for me to move on - so they were happy about it and I was happy too. There was no wrangling. It was all amicable. It was nicely done but that's Arsenal. They do things in a proper, gentlemanly manner.

'I have walked away with absolutely nothing in place. All I know is that I want to play, in fact I need to play.

'Not for the money - I'm lucky I don't need the money - but I do need this fresh challenge and I'm going all out to get it.

'I want to kick-start my career again and take my football into a new realm and playing abroad will do that.

'It's something I have dreamt about since I was a boy. I have nothing left to prove in England but it would be special if I could now go to the continent and make a major statement in a foreign league too.'