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the legend retires :'(

Henrik Larsson bids tearful goodbye after final match of his career


The 38-year-old took to the pitch for the final time in Helsingborg's 2-0 Allsvenska defeat to Djurgarden, bringing the curtain down on a career spanning two decades.

Larsson has been prolific during his time as a professional footballer, scoring over 300 goals during spells with Helsingborg, Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United.

He was also a vital member of the Swedish national team, making over 100 appearances in the blue and yellow shirt and helping them finish third at the 1994 World Cup.

It was a tearful Larsson who faced a standing ovation at Helsingborg's Olympia stadium last night.

And he admitted he found it difficult to keep his emotions in check as tributes from the likes of Sweden coach Lars Lagerback, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and international team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic were played at the ground.

"It really hits you when you meet all this love," he said. "I'm normally quite a cool character but right now I feel like I could cry.

"It's huge to be able to end it on our home ground and it has to end some time.

"It's rubbish to end things this way (with a defeat) but you can't have everything in life."

Larsson was also moved by Helsingborg's decision to retire the No 17 shirt in his honour.

"It's a fantastic gesture by the club, to retire it for ever. I'm very moved," he said.

Larsson, who will not play in Helsingborg's final match of the domestic season at Elfsborg on Sunday, will now take time out to think over how best to fill the void left by his retirement.

He has already been linked with several coaching jobs, although he gave few hints as to what the future holds.

"I don't know if I have to go down to the employment agency and do certain things, but I have the luck and luxury to be able to say no to jobs which are offered to me," he said.

"But obviously there is an emptiness at present, and I need to fill that emptiness with something.

"I'm fortunate enough to have earned enough money to be able to sit back and not panic, but I have to do something. I can't just glide through the rest of life."

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Tags: another one bites the dust!
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