Mark van Bommel bowed out of professional football at the weekend in ignominious, but not unexpected, circumstances as the Dutch veteran was sent off for a characteristically robust challenge (see above).
The 36-year-old had kept quiet his plans to lower the curtain on his illustrious career for club and country at the end of the season, but announced his decision to retire following his season-ending sending off against Twente.
"That's it, it's over. It's a shame that it ended with a red card, but it sums up what a difficult season it has been for the team," said the PSV Eindhoven captain.
"I have had many doubts. The support of the fans made the decision tough for me.
"Although I still feel good, I had to make a lot of efforts to stay fit. I wanted to make the decision to quit by myself."
Although it ended in circumstances he may have preferred to avoid, it was perhaps fitting that Van Bommel's career finished with a red card given his somewhat forceful playing style, which has graced the likes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and AC Milan.
Van Bommel's cynical tendencies came under particular scrutiny as the Netherlands reached the final of the 2010 World Cup, and the midfielder appeared fortunate not to be given his marching orders in the defeat to Spain.
He may be criticised for penchant for snapping at the heels of opponents but, here at GMF, we say fair play to Mark van Bommel, and wish him the very best on his hastily announced retirement.
And, in tribute to the midfield commando, here is a run down of 10 of the dirtiest players football has ever seen…
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