Juliano Belletti spent just under three years at Chelsea. Today he announced his retirement from the game. It's safe to say he will be greatly missed.
Persistent injuries ravaged Belletti late in his career, particularly during his return to Brazil after his contract wasn't renewed by us in June 2010. The 35-year-old signed a one-year contract with Ceará on 15 June, but I'm sure it was clear to him that his time as a footballer was up.
Belletti took to Twitter on Monday to announce his decision to leave the game, citing recurring Achilles problems as his reason for retiring.
"I want to continue, but my body won't let me," Belletti Tweeted. "Today I close my career as a professional football player due to physical problems."
Tough. Belletti was not exactly a popular signing when he joined Chelsea in August 2007. I remember it being more of an "eh" move for most of us. But, you know, the guy won most of us over I think. He put in a solid shift, tireless in his work ethic. He didn't complain about playing time. And, yeah, he scored some fantastic goals for the club. He may well be the definition of underrated to be honest with you.
We at The CO would like to take this time to thank Juliano for his wonderful contribution not just to the evolution of Chelsea Football Club, but also to the game in general. We wish you the best in whatever awaits you in the future.