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Gallas calls time on his career

END OF THE ROAD: William Gallas in action while playing for France

FORMER FRENCH international William Gallas has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 37 after nearly two decades in the game.

Gallas, who played in the Premier League for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had been playing for Perth Glory in Australia's A-League for the past year after spending three years at Spurs.

The defender spent two years at the prestigious French academy at Clairefontaine; which has been credited with building the foundation of the careers of some of the most successful French football players. Other students include Nicolas Anelka, Louis Saha and the nations top scorer, Thierry Henry.

Gallas said: “It is not an easy thing to announce. You always tell yourself that you can keep going, but, today I think I cannot go on any longer.”

After his time there he played for Caen and Marseille but it wasn't until his move to England and Chelsea that he cemented his spot in the French squad.

The two-time Premier League winner played 84 games and scored five goals for his country including the controversial play-off equaliser against the Republic of Ireland that secured France's place in the 2010 World Cup.

It wasn't the only drama in his long career as his move to Arsenal came as a shock when he was included in the deal that took Ashley Cole across London to Chelsea.

His time at Arsenal ended in ignominy after he criticised his teammates following their 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in the League Cup final in 2011 and he was striped of the captaincy.

During his time in London, he made 321 Premier League appearances making him 13th on the list of none British players. He played his last game for France in 2010.

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