Former Dutch captain Mark Van Bommel retires

The Hague: Former Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel announced the end of his professional football career.

"I have had many doubts", the 36-year-old Van Bommel said after his club PSV lost 1-3 to FC Twente in the final match round of the Eredivisie season.

"The support of the fans made the decision tough for me. Although I still feel good, I had to make a lot of efforts to stay fit. I wanted to make the decision to quit by myself."

In his final match, Van Bommel was sent off after having received his second yellow card in the 71st minute. The red card was symbolic for a disappointing last season. He came back to PSV last year to become champions but PSV squandered the lead in the second half of the season and finished second behind Ajax. Last Thursday PSV lost the Dutch Cup final 1-2 to AZ Alkmaar.

Van Bommel debuted in 1995 at the age of 16 on behalf of Fortuna Sittard. After that he continued at PSV (1999-2005), FC Barcelona (2005-2006), Bayern Munich (2006-2011) and AC Milan (2011-2012) before returning to PSV.

In total, Van Bommel captured four Dutch league titles with PSV, two German championships with Bayern and he also became champions of Spain with FC Barcelona, and Italy with AC Milan. He achieved his biggest success by winning the Champions League with Barcelona in 2006.

Van Bommel played 79 matches for the Dutch national team. In 2010 he led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in South Africa.


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