Tim Sparf, captain of the Finnish national team in the last European Championship, announced his retirement from football at the age of 34, after playing 84 international matches.
“I gave everything I could physically and went as far as possible,” the midfielder said in a video posted on social media.
Finland called up for the first time in 2009, and Sparf lived out his first major international competition with last summer’s European Cup in Europe.
The Finns were eliminated from the tournament in the group stage.
The first match, against Denmark, was marked by the cardiac arrest of Danish Christian Eriksen.
Throughout his career, Sparv scored only one goal for the national team, against Northern Ireland in a friendly match in 2012.
He trained in Southampton (England), and played tournaments in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Greece and finally the Finnish League at HJK Helsinki.
Sparv has publicly committed to workers’ rights to build the 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar, which NGOs suspect in their working conditions.
In November, he joined Amnesty International’s call for FIFA to do more to protect migrant workers in the emirate.
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