Eljero Elia has officially retired as a professional football player. The 36-year-old attacker will announce the news on Sunday at ESPN. Elia has been without a club since the summer of 2022, after his departure from ADO Den Haag.
“No, I don’t play football at all anymore. I’m playing padel,” says Elia at ESPN. “I am retired from football.” The former Orange international says he has not yet had time to announce his retirement. “This is the moment that the whole of the Netherlands knows that I have stopped playing football. What does it feel like? In my head I was done for a long time. I haven’t liked it in recent years.”
At Istanbul Başakşehir and FC Utrecht, Elia started to lose love for football. “At Utrecht I have only experienced bad moments. Daughter sick, the start of the corona crisis, no longer feel like going to football, driving distances…” For the first time in his career, Elia went to live far from the training complex. “And the trainer was fired. The new trainer started treating me like a small child,” he seems to be referring to René Hake. “I don’t want to get wet, but that’s how it felt to me.”
Elia made his debut at ADO Den Haag in 2005. After that he was active at FC Twente, Hamburger SV, Juventus, Werder Bremen, Southampton, Feyenoord, Başakşehir, Utrecht and again ADO. He played thirty times for the Dutch national team. He scored twice in that.
Eljero Elia officially announces his retirement as a professional football player.
“This is the moment that the whole of the Netherlands knows that I have stopped playing football”
— ESPN NL (@ESPNnl) February 19, 2023
Grab 5 Free Bets of €10 at Jack’s now!