In a surprise announcement earlier this morning, former Liverpool defender and perpetual class act Daniel Agger announced his retirement from football.
Agger's contract at boyhood club Brøndby had run out, and though he'd been linked with a move to the Rafa Benitez helmed Newcastle United as well as AC Milan, neither move made much sense for the Dane. Agger had always been very clear about where his loyalties lie in English soccer, and it's unsurprising that nothing, not even a made up rumour pretending to source itself back to Marca, could sway him from his fidelity to Liverpool FC.
This is not the first time Agger has considered retirement, of course. Though only thirty-one years-old, Agger contemplated retirement from the professional game a few years back when a back injury left him unable to pick up his young son. In the choice between your career and your family, your family wins every time. Agger recovered from that injury, but cited the physicality of the Premier League as one of the reasons to move back to Denmark in 2014. Additional injuries sustained at Brøndby since then have clearly not helped, and reading between the lines it seems that Agger has finally been forced to make that choice between continuing to put his body through the ringer or to just stop playing all together.
It's a sad day for Liverpool fans, as Agger remains a cult favourite and absolutely stand up guy. Having made 232 appearances for the club, there were the tiniest of hopes that he might move back to Liverpool on a free transfer to play a Kolo Toure-esque role next season should the amiable Ivorian depart. Instead, fans will have to console themselves with the slim chance that he might return in some sort of ambassadorial or coaching role, though Agger himself said when he joined the club that once his playing career was over, he was done with football. A lot can change in ten years, of course.
"I would like to thank the Liverpool supporters for the incredible backing they have given me in my time here," Agger said when he left Liverpool two years ago, "and the warmth and generosity of spirit displayed to my family. The club itself is very special and I shall remain a supporter for the rest of my life. I regard every game I played at Anfield as a privilege."
Daniel Agger was an uncommon player and remains an uncommon man. We wish Agger nothing but the best for his retirement and expect to be the first in line when and if he ever opens his very own tattoo studio. YNWA, Daniel.
Thank you for your support.A great experience.It's sad,but it is the right decision to stop. I'm proud of my career. pic.twitter.com/Geu9y47vnN— Daniel Agger (@DanielAgger) June 9, 2016