Former Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid forward, Luis Garcia, has announced his retirement at the age of 35.
Garcia spent the most successful spell of his career at Anfield and helped the Reds win the Champions League in 2005. He is in many football fans memories for scoring the notorious “ghost goal” that took Liverpool past Chelsea into the 2005 Champions League final.
With the score at 0-0 following the first leg, Milan Baros knocked the ball past Chelsea keeper, Petr Cech, and Garcia got a touch to claim the only goal of the tie. However, Mourinho was convinced that William Gallas had hooked the ball away before it crossed the line, and later described it as a “ghost goal.”
Garcia scored 30 goals in 121 games during his three years at Anfield, but missed Liverpool’s defeat to AC Milan in the 2007 Champions League final due to injury. His honours at Anfield include the 2006 FA Cup, the 2005 UEFA Super Cup and the 2006 Community Shield.
In a statement on his website, Garcia announced on Monday: “Today I’ve decided to retire as a professional footballer, thanking the interest of the teams that talked to me in recent weeks, but I think it’s time to end this important chapter of my life and move to the next page.”
He also paid tribute to Liverpool, saying: “(Thanks) to Liverpool FC, for making me pass through the history of international football and be part of the Red family forever.
“(And thanks) to each and every one of the people over 17 years of (my) career that have been with me, have helped me and supported me at every stage I have lived, and although not mentioned one by one, I will be forever grateful.”
Garcia began his career at Barcelona’s famous academy, La Masia, and progressed to their B team before leaving for Atletico Madrid in 2002. He returned to Camp Nou in 2003, before joining Liverpool, under Rafa Benitez, for £6m a year later.
After leaving Liverpool in 2007, Garcia went back to Atletico Madrid for two seasons, before finishing his career with spells at Racing Santander, Greek club Panathinaikos and Mexican sides Pueble and Pumas UNAM.
Garcia also played 20 times for his home country of Spain and scored four goals.
Soccer-Laduma wishes one of football’s great all the best for a new chapter in his life.