World Cup, Champions League winner Lúcio retires at age 41

SAO PAULO (AP) — World Cup and Champions League winner Lúcio announced his retirement on Wednesday at the age of 41.

The Brazilian defender spent the last two years playing for Brasiliense, a small team in his hometown Brasilia.

Lúcio was a starter and a leader in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning team. Eight years later he helped lead Inter Milan to the club’s first European Cup title since 1965.

He started his career at Internacional of Porto Alegre in 1997.

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“It is a special day for me. Today I am ending my career as a professional footballer. I do it with a lot of pride and gratitude to all those supporting me during that time,” Lúcio told TV Globo.

Lúcio jointed Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-02 season, which ended with him scoring the German team’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

The defender joined Bayern Munich in 2004 and won three Bundesliga titles and three German cups before leaving in 2009.

Inter coach José Mourinho took him to Italy and the Brazilian quickly became a key member of the team that won the Champions League in 2010 against Bayern, along with one Serie A title and two Italian cups.

Lúcio joined Juventus in 2012, but played only a handful of matches for the club before returning to Brazil at the end of that year.

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