Italy legend Alessandro Nesta retires

Alessandro Nesta at the start of his international career, in 1997. Photo: PA

Today is my first day as an ex-footballer. Thanks to all the people who in recent years has given me their affection.#SerieA #Milan #Lazio

Let's hear it for legendary Italian centre-back Alessandro Nesta, who this week announced his retirement after a playing career that spanned 20 years.

Not counting a recent swan-song spell at Montreal Impact, Nesta was a two-club man, playing like a boss for Lazio (1993-2002) and then AC Milan (2002-2012).

He also won 78 caps for Italy, and was a part of the squad that won the 2006 World Cup, though injury cruelly robbed him of playing time after the group stage.

Nesta in Lazio colours in 2000. Credit: PA

In his pomp Nesta was rated as the best centre-back in the world, and he won the silverware to back up the claim: at Lazio he won the Serie A title, the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup, plus two Italian Cups. He was more successful in Milan, with ten trophies to his name, including two scudetti and two Champions League titles.

With fellow Milan legend Paolo Maldini. Credit: PA
Training with Montreal earlier this year. Credit: PA