USMNT and Hannover 96 defender Steve Cherundolo officially announced his retirement today, citing persistent injuries in the last two seasons.
The full back, known to fans of the Bundesliga side as ‘Mayor of Hannover’, played his entire professional career at Hannover 96, making 370 appearances and ends his career as the club-record holder for matches played.
He also played 87 times for the United States National Team across 15 years, and was part of the rosters for the FIFA World Cups in 2006 and 2010.
Speaking at a press conference, Cherundolo said: “Because of several knee injuries in the past 15 months, I have to stop my career as a professional footballer today.
“I have been allowed since 1999 to be with Hannover 96, a club that has made incredible sporting and economic progress.
“But at the same time it has not lost its heart and soul – namely, the fans.
“I am thrilled about further involvement in the club, and I will try to give back everything that I have learned as a professional football player and man at Hannover 96.
“Thank you very much.”
The Rockford, Ill native recently turned 35 and now intends to earn his German coaching badges and join the coaching staff at Hannover II, the team’s Under 23 squad.
Hannover 96 President Martin Kind praised Cherundolo’s commitment to the team, saying: “I have seen Steven Cherundolo in his previous 15 years at Hannover 96 as a model professional and responsible and strong character.
“His career at 96 is marked with unprecedented success and of exceptional club loyalty: promotion to the Bundesliga, the club’s establishment in the Bundesliga, and ultimately with him as a team captain, twice participating in the Europa League.
“It is a pity that we will no longer see Stevie in the Bundesliga in the 96 jersey.
“Therefore, I am all the more happier that he will remain at 96 to pass on his wealth of experience.”
Cherundolo, nicknamed Dolo by his teammates, played collegiate soccer at the University of Portland for two years, where he was named West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
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Feature image: Hannover 96 Facebook page