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By ESPN Staff

Former Bayern star Kuffour retires from football

Ghana defender Samuel Kuffour has retired from football with immediate effect after experiencing a tough 24-month period.

The 32-year-old became a free agent this summer after being released by Roma, whom he joined in 2005 after 12 years as a Bayern Munich player.

Following difficult loan spells with Livorno and Ajax over the past two seasons, Kuffour was reportedly close to joining Russian side FC Khimki, but - according to his agent Guiseppe Dello Russo - has now decided to quit the game.

Kuffour is somewhat of a legend in Germany after helping Bayern claim seven Bundesliga titles, four cups and five league cups, while he was also part of the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup winning squads in 2001.

However, after moving to Rome in 2005, he was loaned out to Livorno and then Ajax, but failed to secure a permanent move before his contract in Italy eventually ran out.

He was subsequently offered a return to Germany or a move to Russia this summer, but his agent has revealed he decided otherwise.

"He did decline offers from Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga," Dello Russo told www.ghanasoccernet.com. "He said he wanted to end his career. I am very sad.

"We showed interest (in a move to FC Khimki) but declined the offer. Sammy would not have felt comfortable over there."

Kuffour won 59 caps for his country, the first coming aged just 17 in November 1993.

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