Chelsea captain Marcel Desailly has confirmed that he intends to retire next summer.

The 34-year-old central defender’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in 2004 and the veteran is not looking for a new deal.

‘I will definitely end my career after 2004,’ Desailly said.

‘I have had a long, hard career. I need to do other things and take a break.’

Desailly, one of the most successful footballers of his generation, recently set a French record when he won his 104th international cap, surpassing Didier Deschamps previous record for international appearances.

As well as winning the World Cup and European Championship with France, Desailly also won league titles in France and Italy and won the Champions League with both Marseille and Milan. He returns to Europe’s elite competition with Chelsea next season.

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