Sad news for the Montreal Impact and football fans across the globe. Marco Di Vaio has announced that he will retire at the end of the current MLS season.
"After a 20-year career, I am pleased to announce that I will be retiring in Montreal as a member of the Impact," the 38-year-old Di Vaio said in a club statement. "I am very proud of what I've accomplished over two decades as a pro. It was a dream of mine to play at the highest level and I will look to make the best of my final month as a player."
Sadly there wont be a fairytale ending for Di Vaio as his Montreal side cannot make the playoffs. They have five games left in their season, with the last game being played at Stade Saputo, Montreal's home ground.
Di Vaio arrived in Montreal ahead of the 2012 MLS from Europe where he was a prolific goal scorer. During his time in Europe he played in his native Italy and also had spells in Spain and France. He managed 213 goals in 582 appearances, and his impressive goal scoring record saw him capped 14 times by Italy scoring two goals.
In Montreal he continued to find the net and has 31 goals to his name from 73 appearances - a tally he will be hoping to add to before he hangs up his cleats. One thing is certain, he is a legend in Montreal after he lead them to two Canadian Championships and qualification for next springs CONCAF Champions League Quarter Finals.
His most prolific season with the Impact came in the 2013 season when he scored 20 goals in 33 matches leading Montreal to the playoffs and thus being selected as an MLS All Star.
Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo paid tribute to Di Vaio saying he was a model professional:
“Everything we asked of Marco has been delivered,” said Saputo. “He accepted all the responsibilities that came with being a designated player.
“He was the first for this club and was the right choice. His quality and experience helped the team progress on the field, but he also helped the club with his wealth of knowledge off of it. He gained respect around the league and from its players, and it’s very well deserved.”
Di Vaio will retire as the Impacts all time goal scorer.