Santiago, July 19 (Reuters): Chile striker Ivan Zamorano announced his retirement on Friday at a new conference alongside President Ricardo Lagos in the presidential palace.
Fans gathered outside the palace, calling on the 36-year-old Zamorano, who enjoys cult status in Chile, to reconsider.
“I have made the most important decision of my career, to say goodbye to soccer. A new life begins now,” said Zamorano.
The player said Lagos deserved to be the first to know that he was retiring because he was a close friend.
Zamorano said he would now dedicate himself to philanthropic work through his own foundation and as an ambassador for UNICEF.