Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, among the best operators in the modern era in and around the 6-yard box, announced his retirement this morning at age 35.
Van Nistelrooy’s career reached its peak during the Manchester United years (2001-2006). He sandwiched time at Old Trafford between famous spells at PSV Eindhoven and Real Madrid.
Malaga in Spain was van Nistelrooy’s final stop. He just helped the smaller La Liga side finish fourth and secure its first Champions League berth.
“I have arrived at my physical limit and I can’t play at the maximum level,” he said. “I couldn’t have had a better send-off than this.”
Van Nistelrooy also struck 35 times while earning 70 international caps the Netherlands, for whom he scored during the 2004 European Championships, 2006 World Cup and 2008 European Championships. He is also the second leading all-time scorer in EUFA Champions League with 54 goals in 81 contests.