Fabricio Coloccini announces retirement
Written by Dan King
Former Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has announced his retirement at the age of 39.
The cultured centre-back from Cordoba made 274 appearances for the Magpies, scoring seven goals. He was a vital part of Chris Hughton's Coca-Cola Championship title-winning team of 2009/10 and of Alan Pardew's side which finished fifth in the Premier League in 2011/12.
He also played 39 times for Argentina and represented his country at the 2006 World Cup, as well as winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Joining United in August 2008 from Deportivo La Coruña at the same time as his compatriot Jonás Gutiérrez arrived from Real Mallorca, Coloccini struggled at times in his first season as the Magpies were relegated from the top flight. But he stayed with the club and by the end of the following campaign, not only had he helped the team bounce back at the first attempt with 102 points but he was also named in the PFA's Championship Team of the Year.
He went on to establish himself as one of the very best defenders in the country for a period - highlighted when he was included in the 2011/12 PFA Premier League Team of the Year, as well as winning the North East Football Writers' Association player of the year award for 2011. One particularly masterful performance in a Tyne-Wear derby clash even earned comparisons from Pardew with the great Bobby Moore.
Coloccini's eventual exit from St. James' Park became something of a long goodbye, with him joining Argentine club San Lorenzo following United's relegation in 2015/16. His contract was terminated by mutual consent and he wrote an emotional open letter to "all those people with black and white blood in their veins" upon his departure, where he thanked supporters, staff and team-mates.
And it was with a similarly heartfelt statement that he announced his retirement on Wednesday, as 2021 draws to a close. He acknowledged all ten clubs that he played for - including, most recently, Buenos Aires-based Aldosivi, for "giving me the chance of wearing their prestigious shirts."
He added: "I've tried to give the best of me every moment, both on and off the field - sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always with honesty, loyalty and commitment for the club but also to my team-mates."
Everybody at Newcastle United - including several staff and players who remain from his time on Tyneside - thanks Coloccini for his contribution in a black and white shirt and wishes him well for the future.
"I've tried to give the best of me every moment, both on and off the field - sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always with honesty, loyalty and commitment for the club but also to my team-mates."