The well-traveled player became Costa Rica's second-leading goal- scorer with 45 goals in 72 international appearances. He played in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, scoring in each, including a brace against Germany in the opening match of the 2006 finals. In England, Wanchope played for Derby County, West Ham United and Manchester City. He also played in Malaga in Spain.
"It was difficult, but this decision had to be made," the player said. "The truth is that in these past six months, I had to put a big effort into recovery after matches and training." Fire Coach Juan Carlos Osorio said he was disappointed in Wanchope's early retirement: "I think it's a shame that Paulo has to retire at such a young age for a professional footballer. Because of physical problems, I can only agree with him that it was the best thing he could do."