Former Wales striker Bellamy announces retirement

Cardiff City striker Craig Bellamy has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect, saying that his body ‘couldn’t take it anymore’, BBC Sport has reported.

This marks the end of Bellamy’s second spell at his hometown club, having originally joined on loan in the 2010-11 season. During his career he played for some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, including Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Liverpool.

Over two spells at Anfield, Bellamy helped Liverpool to the 2007 Champions League final, which they lost to AC Milan, as well as the FA Cup final in 2012. His only silverware with the club was that year’s League Cup.

Last season he was part of the Cardiff team which gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time, only for him to suffer an injury-hit season this time around and see the club get relegated back to the Championship.

Over his career, he also earned 78 caps for Wales, though did not manage to help his country to a major tournament. The closest he came was in qualifying for Euro 2004, when the Welsh were narrowly beaten by Russia in a play-off.

Speaking about his decision to end his career, Bellamy said: “I’ve had to listen to my body. “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.

“I’m not sure my body will think that’s a wise thing in due course, but it kept me playing for that period. However, the time has come to stand aside and say enough. My body can’t take anymore.”

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