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Fire's Wanchope, 31, Retires

Less than a week after teammate Chris Armas announced his retirement, Chicago Fire forward Paulo Wanchope followed suit, retiring from the game at the age of 31. He cited chronic injury and fatigue as the main reasons for his decision. Wanchcope played in several leagues across the globe, including Costa Rica, England, Qatar, Spain, Argentina and Japan before joining Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire in the middle of the 2007 season. He scored two goals in 11 appearances for the Fire.

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."

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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