Former Socceroos defender Matthew Spiranovic has retired from professional football after succumbing to a four-month battle with a foot injury.
Spiranovic, 34, has made just four appearances for cellar dwellers Melbourne Victory this season, the most recent being on January 21 in a 3-1 loss to the Glory in Perth.
“After suffering an ongoing foot injury for the last four months, the time has come for me to hang up the boots,” Spiranovic said.
“It is with mixed emotions, as I would have loved nothing more than to finish the season and help get Melbourne Victory back to the top.”
Geelong product Spiranovic made 36 appearances for the Socceroos between 2008 and 2019 and was part of Australia’s 2014 World Cup squad and the national squad that won the 2015 Asian Cup.
He was also in the Western Sydney Wanderers squad that won the 2014 AFC Champions League.
Spiranovic’s club career also included stints with the Glory, Nurnberg (Germany), Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan), Al-Arabi (Qatar) and Hangzhou Greentown (China).
Victory coach Tony Popovic, who mentored Spiranovic at three clubs. thanked the player for his overall contribution to Australian football.
“Matty is a player I have spent many years mentoring and working with, and he is an extremely talented defender who has been a consummate professional in everything he has done, on and off the pitch,” Popovic said.
“He is a player that has set an example and has led with his actions and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of his journey and have witnessed what he’s been able to contribute to football.
“I feel honoured and privileged to have coached Matty. Together, we have had success and won trophies at three different clubs. He has been an incredible servant to the game, and we wish him the best on what’s next in his life after football.”
Spiranovic said: “I would like to thank my teammates, all the coaching staff, Tony Popovic and the entire club for the support and great times we’ve had together.
“Overall, I feel very blessed and proud of the career that I’ve been fortunate enough to have. To all my past clubs, teammates, coaches and fans, thank you for all the fond memories and special moments.”
With Spiranovic gone, the last-placed Victory have already been linked to 34-year-old French defender Damien Da Silva
The Victory will search for their first win since December 12 on Friday night when they host Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park
New signing Bruce Kamau, who joined the club on loan this week from Greek outfit OFI Crete, is poised to make his Victory debut.