Former Liverpool, Cardiff City and Wales legend retires aged 34

Craig Bellamy has hung up his boots after a glittering, albeit controversial career in football

Craig Bellamy has issued his intent to retire from football after a 17-year career that has seen him score 188 goals at club and international level.

Bellamy played for the likes of Norwich, Coventry, Blackburn and Newcastle, before his high-profile spells at Liverpool and Manchester City.

Bellamy saw out his career at home club Cardiff City, where he helped them gain promotion to the Premier League after many years of coming so close. The midfielder however could not do enough this season to keep his beloved Bluebirds in the top-flight, as Cardiff made an immediate return to the Championship.

The fiery 34-year-old will also go down as a legend for Wales, where he is the third most capped player with 78 outings his country behind Neville Southall and the late Gary Speed. Bellamy also sits fifth in Wales’ all time scorers chart with 19 goals, beating the likes of Ryan Giggs and John Hartson.

With his illustrious appearance and goal tally intact, Bellamy will also be remembered for several controversial moments throughout his playing career, his alleged training ground bust-up with John Arne Riise at Liverpool being the highlight.

Bellamy has cited fatigue as his reasons for retiring, saying injuries have taken their toll on his body.

“My body couldn’t take it anymore,” he told WalesOnline.

“I guess over the years I’ve become accustomed to the pain from various injuries, but for the last three to four years I’ve been on anti-inflammatories every day.”

Bellamy says in the same report that getting Cardiff promoted was the proudest moment of his career, while he intends to take on his UEFA coaching badges and seek a management role in the future.

Without doubt, he will go down as one of Wales’ greatest ever players. His highlight will be scoring a late winner to give Wales a 2-1 win over Italy at the Millennium Stadium in 2002, while he will always be remembered as a solid, albeit controversial performer at club level.

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