Michalis Karagiannis / Reuters
Esteban Cambiasso, the face of Argentina’s midfield in the 2000s, is reportedly calling time on his career as a professional footballer.
According to TyC Sports, the 37-year-old is hanging up his boots and will be putting on a manager’s sweatshirt instead. El Cuchu last took the pitch at Olympiacos, which he joined on a free transfer in 2015 after deciding not to renew his contract at Leicester City. The Legend uploaded a video on Friday to say “thank you.”
Per Clarin, Cambiasso passed a professional coaching course in Coverciano, Italy that falls under UEFA’s authority, and El Cuchu is qualified to coach youth teams and be an assistant coach.
The peak of Cambiasso’s career came at the 2006 World Cup, where, playing under Jose Pekerman, El Cuchu scored one of Argentina’s most iconic goals, completing a 25-pass move in La Albiceleste’s 6-0 group-stage victory against Serbia and Montenegro. Four years later, he was controversially omitted from his national team’s squad for the 2010 World Cup by Maradona.
A product of Argentinos Juniors, Cambiasso joined Real Madrid Castilla at 16 years old but returned to Argentina to represent CA Independiente. From there, El Cuchu went on to feature at River Plate, Real Madrid, Internazionale – where he conquered Serie A five times in a decade as well as the Champions League – Leicester, and Olympiacos.
Cambiasso was part of Argentina’s squad when La Albiceleste won the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia, and his reported retirement from football will leave him with 74 international caps.