Stam calls it quits

Dutchman hangs up boots

Stam: Retired

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Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has announced his retirement from football.

The 35-year-old has decided the time is right to hang up his boots after an illustrious career.

Stam last played for Ajax against NEC Nijmegen on 20th October where he picked up an injury and the former Dutch international has struggled with his fitness in the last year.

"Before this season I spoke with Ajax and told them that I missed the drive to continue," Stam told the Dutch media

"But they persuaded me to go on, although physical problems are the reasons for quitting right now.

"When I play I am more focused on myself than the team and that is not good, not for the team and not for me, because it reduces my concentration and causes mistakes."

The giant defender came to the fore at PSV Eindhoven before joining Manchester United in 1998 where he helped them win the Treble in 1999.

Stam was controversially sold to Lazio in 2002 with Sir Alex Ferguson later admitting he made a mistake in parting company with the centre-back.

After three years at Lazio, Stam moved to Serie A rivals Milan before returning to his homeland to join Ajax in 2006.