Premier League - Saha retires from football

Former Manchester United and France striker Louis Saha has announced his retirement from football on his 35th birthday.

Premier League - Saha retires from football

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Louis Saha, Sunderland

He said on his official Twitter account: "Want to thank all managers, all staff, all team mates, all opponents, all fans, for all support and love towards me during my football career.

"I'm a proud man but without you all I won't be myself now. Thanks for the challenges, thanks for the help, thanks for the memories, thanks for the passion.

"I will stop to be call(ed) a professional footballer. Love you and thanks again."

Saha began his career in his native France with Metz in 1997. He made 12 appearances for Newcastle on loan in 1998-99 before joining Fulham in 2000 on a permanent deal.

His prolific form earned him 64 goals in 144 appearances for the Londoners, leading to a £12.8 million move to reigning Premier League champions Manchester United in January 2004.

Saha added another 42 goals in 144 appearances during his time at Old Trafford, before a move to Everton yielded 35 from 115 games.

It was as a Toffee that Saha broke the record for the fastest goal in an FA Cup final in 2009, against Chelsea - whose midfielder and future Champions League-winning manager Roberto Di Matteo had held the record for 12 seasons prior.

Saha's goal came after just 25 seconds at Wembley, but Chelsea came back to win the trophy 2-1.

Fleeting spells at Tottenham, Sunderland and Lazio followed while internationally Saha earned 20 caps for France, with four international goals coming along the way.

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