AZ Alkmaar defender Ron Vlaar has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

The centre-back has been struggling with knee problems and has now decided to hang up his boots.

He told the AZ Alkmaar website, “It was more difficult than I expected. I already knew it for a while and when I heard it last week, I felt it coming a bit. It was more resignation than a huge disappointment. Really disappointed that it ends like this, but in the end I have to respect health and there is also a life after football. “

Vlaar still had a contract with AZ until mid-2021 but has not played since September. His last game was the Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kiev. He is in talks with the club about a new role.

Vlaar started his career with AZ Alkmaar and had spells with Feyenoord and Aston Villa. He then returned to AZ in 2015.

The defender also earned 32 caps for the Netherlands and had a big role as Netherlands finished third at the 2014 World Cup. He played all seven games at the tournament.

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