Former Brazil and Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis says he'll retire at season's end

Thu, Nov 30, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

Former Brazil and Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis says he'll retire at season's end

SAO PAULO (AP) - Former Brazil, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea defender Filipe Luis said Thursday he will retire at the end of the season, meaning he will likely play his last game for Flamengo on Sunday at the Maracana Stadium.

The 38-year-old left back made the decision after playing through several injuries this year.

Luis said in a video published in his club's social media channels that he wanted to play until age 45, "but unfortunately that is not possible." His likely last match will be against Cuiaba in the penultimate round of the Brazilian league.

If Flamengo reaches the last round with a chance at the title, Luis might also play a match at Sao Paulo. The Rio de Janeiro club is currently in fourth place, three points behind leader Palmeiras.

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"I promised to myself that I would make the decision to stop if I could not play in a high level. Flamengo deserves someone up to its standards, someone who can play 70 matches a year and fights for a place in the starting team in a fair way," Luis said. "I came back to Brazil to play for Flamengo, and since I can't play for Flamengo I would rather retire and start a new challenge."

Luis has repeatedly said he will pursue a career as a coach or team executive when his playing career ends.

Luis started his professional career in 2003 with Brazilian club Figueirense. He had a brief spell at Real Madrid Castilla, joined Deportivo La Coruna in 2006 and signed with Atletico Madrid in 2010.

He played with the Colchoneros for five seasons in his first stint. He joined Chelsea in 2014 for one season, and then returned to Atletico Madrid. Luis has played for his boyhood club Flamengo since 2019.

Luis won the Europa League twice with Atletico Madrid, and the Spanish League in 2013. He won the Premier League in his only season with Chelsea.

Flamengo won the Copa Libertadores in 2019 and 2022 with Luis, who also won the Brazilian league twice.

Luis played for Brazil in the 2018 World Cup and won the 2019 Copa America with the squad.

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