Veteran Socceroo Brett Emerton retires

Australia's third-most capped Socceroo, Brett Emerton, has decided to retire from football.

The 34-year old has laboured through a difficult final season at Sydney FC and was pulled off after just 52 minutes in last week's Sydney derby, citing an ongoing back injury.

Emerton has been battling a chronic back complaint for the past six months and despite repeat attempts to overcome the problem, it has clearly restricted his output.

He has endured an injury-plagued finish to an otherwise brilliant career, one which took in successful spells at Dutch giants Feyenoord and English club Blackburn Rovers after starring in the National Soccer League with Sydney Olympic.

Emerton surprised the football world when he quit the English Premier League in 2011 to sign with Sydney FC but he was never able to conquer the heights with the Sky Blues as injuries to his foot and back restricted his contribution.

His career ends on 95 international caps, five short of the milestone he craved, and which he hoped to reach at some point during the 2014 World Cup.

However, his international career at least ended on a high note, as he was named player of the tournament in his final event, the East Asian Cup qualifiers in December 2012.

The final five months of his reported $1 million per season contract is said to be resolved via a financial settlement and will free up a position outside the salary cap for the club to bring in a new player during the January transfer window.

Celtic attacking midfielder Tom Rogic has been linked with a loan deal for the Sky Blues until the end of the season.

The story Veteran Socceroo Brett Emerton retires first appeared on WA Today.

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