Jermain Defoe retires from professional soccer

Sunderland’s former England, West Ham, Tottenham and Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has retired from professional football at the age of 39.

Defoe, who re-joined the Black Cats in February, scored 304 goals in 762 career club games and added 20 goals in 57 England appearances.

He also spent time at Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Major League Soccer club Toronto during his 22-year career.

Diminutive forward Defoe scored 162 Premier League goals, making him the ninth highest scorer in the league since its formation in 1992-93.

“I made my professional debut at 17 years old in 1999, and I feel now is the right time to bow out. I have had an incredible journey, and have met some amazing people in the game.” Defoe said. 

“Football will always be in my blood, and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to look back on the blessed career that I’ve had.” He added.

He is also 15th in the appearances list, having played 496 games in England’s top flight.

Defoe’s effort of 162 Premier League strikes means he is the ninth highest scorer in top-flight history, above Michael Owen and Spurs legend Teddy Sheringham – and only one off Liverpool icon Robbie Fowler. 

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