Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri has announced he will retire at season’s end after a long career in Australia and Italy.
The 34-year-old leaves Melbourne Victory a two-time Championship winner in 2014/15 and 2017/18, a one-time Premiership winner in 2014/15, an FFA Cup Champion in 2015. Individually he has also won the Victory Medal in 2016/17 and was the 2014/15 Players’ Player of the Season.
After spending 10 years in Italy, he signed for Victory in 2014 and was made captain prior to the 2015-16 season.
Valeri told the club he hasn’t taken the decision lightly, however the time was right for him and his family.
“After much consideration, the choice for me is a happy one and something I am at peace with,” said Valeri.
“I am excited and committed to play out the rest of the current season, and hopefully achieve success with the group, knowing this will be my last with the football club.
“It has been an incredible journey for myself and my family, spanning my time at Victory and previously to that with the Socceroos and abroad.
“When I do play my last game, it will be a time of celebration and reflection on a special career and five wonderful seasons with Melbourne Victory.”
Coach Kevin Muscat was full of praise for Valeri.
“Five years ago, the opportunity to sign Carl arose,” Muscat said.
“Within that process, I spoke to other people about him and the common themes were how respectful he was and the strong family values he holds.
“The respect he has shown this club and the way he has conducted himself has helped us develop great culture at Melbourne Victory.
“Importantly, the way Carl has led the group has been second-to-none and I’m extremely grateful for the support he has given me as the captain and as a person.”