World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has been forced to end a 19-year career because of a chronic knee injury.
The 37-year-old revealed he was 'very sad' about retiring from football altogether but doctors warned the former Italy centre-back that he could not continue with such an injury.
The former Juventus, Real Madrid and Inter Milan star had been playing for United Arab Emirates football club Al-Ahli.
His injury had forced him to miss the final seven games of last season for the Dubai club, however he has revealed he will remain there taking on a technical adviser role.
"I am very sad. Football is everything for me in my life," he said.
Cannavaro is the only defender to be voted FIFA World Player of the Year, winning in the same year he led Italy to the World Cup in 2006.
He featured in four World Cups during an illustrious career which saw him become Italy's most capped player with 136 matches under his belt.