Football

Louis Saha retires from professional football

Saha hangs up his boots (©GettyImages)
Saha hangs up his boots (©GettyImages).

Louis Saha has announced his retirement from professional football via his official Twitter page.

The former France striker brings to an end an illustrious career which saw him win both a European Cup and two Premier League titles during his time with Manchester United.

Saha took to Twitter this morning to deliver the following statement: "I will stop to be called a professional footballer and wish many young talent to enjoy as much as me my football. Love you and thx again." 

Saha brings to a close a sixteen year professional career which saw him net a total of 159 goals.

Saha began his career as a professional back in 1997 with French side Metz with a good season in 1997-1998 sparking interest from English giants Newcastle United whom he then joined on a one-year loan deal. 

The loan deal was not a great success with the young Saha only managing one goal in eleven appearances before returning to France. 

Next up for Saha was Fulham, where he really made his mark on English football with his numerous exuberant hairstyles becoming somewhat of a trademark. 

However it was soon to be his goals that would be getting Saha noticed with the Frenchman netting 27 league goals in his first campaign with Fulham in what was then, the first division.

Saha's goals took Fulham into the Premier League where he had three more stellar years before moving to Manchester United in January 2004. 

His time at Manchester United was arguably the most successful and enjoyable time of his career. 

It was also his most frustrating time as he suffered with numerous knee injuries - much to the disappointment of both Saha himself and supporters who had taken to Saha from the day he joined the club.

Right up to the 2008-2009 season, Saha would only manage to make fleeting appearances for Manchester United but he still contributed goals with the Frenchman contributing to Chelsea's demise at Old Trafford in both 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. 

However the arrangement was never going to be for the long term with Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez having all moved ahead of Saha in the pecking order. 

Saha would pick up his European Cup winner's medal in Moscow before he moved just down the road to Everton under David Moyes.

Saha had four successful seasons with the Toffees, contributing 27 league goals in his time at Goodison Park where he was often utilised as a second striker. 

Despite this, Saha was a key part of Everton's overall play and still holds the record for the quickest FA Cup final goal in the competitions history with his strike just 25 seconds in the contest against Chelsea in 2009.

Saha, approaching the twilight days of his career, was given a loan move to Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur in 2011 where he scored three goals. 

However Spurs did not want to make the move permanent so Saha would start the 2012-2013 campaign on Wearside with Sunderland however in 11 games the former France striker would not score a single goal before spending the final six months of his career on loan at Lazio.

Saha, as a footballer, I always felt was someone who didn't get the credit he deserved, his finishing was of the highest order as was his movement off the ball to get into goalscoring positions. 

He was always unlucky, particularly in his time in England, that he was always used as a secondary striker, he was never the main man with Ruud van Nistelrooy the main forward during his early years and Old Trafford. 

His longstanding knee injuries didn't help matters but Saha would always come back and keep giving his all for the teams he played for and scored goals. 

Now at 35 years old despite interest from the MLS, you have to feel now is the right time for Saha to retire and the forward couldn't have announced his retirement in a more professional manner than by thanking all those who have helped him throughout his career.

 

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Topics:
Fulham
Premier League
Football
Louis Saha
Everton
Manchester United

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