Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi has announced his retirement from professional football.
The goalkeeper underwent surgery to correct a wrist injury in late June but began to experience discomfort again in early August. As a result, he had further surgery and was due to be out of action until November. However this appears to be an injury too far for the 36-year old.
He told the club’s official website: “My plan was always to finish my career after this contract, which runs out next summer. Due to my wrist injury it would be another two months before I could start training again.
“I asked the club for their views. I was very grateful that they understood where I was coming from and thankfully we settled the contract so that the club would gain something and I would be happy with the terms. So it’s come a little bit earlier than I expected.”
After joining the Cottagers in January 2005, the Finland international made 62 appearances for the club.
Prior to his arrival at Craven Cottage, Niemi enjoyed successful spells in the Premier League and Scottish Premier League with Southampton, Heart of Midlothian and Glasgow Rangers.
With 67 caps, he is widely regarded as Finland’s best ever goalkeeper and held the number one jersey for his nation for more than 10 years.