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Aston Villa make the trip to Russia this Thursday for their second-leg UEFA Cup encounter with CSKA Moscow. So with the tie poised at 1-1, can Martin O’Neill’s team progress?

Juventus’s former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedved has confirmed he will retire from playing at the end of the season.

“I will quit at the end of the season, no matter how well we do in the Champions League or Serie A,” the former Czech Republic international told UEFA’s website (www.uefa.com).

“The decision is final and I don’t think I will change my mind – I don’t need to. It is the right time to quit.”

The 36-year-old almost retired at the end of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons before signing consecutive one-year deals with the Turin club, whom he joined from Lazio in 2001.

“I’m still enjoying playing but considering my physical and mental condition I understand that the time has come to make way for younger players—they deserve to play,” he added.

The attacking midfielder was awarded the 2003 Ballon D’Or. He won the 2002 and 2003 Serie A titles in Turin and stayed with the club after they were relegated to Serie B and stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles because of Italy’s match-fixing scandal.

Nedved notched up 91 caps with the Czech Republic between 1994 and 2006.

Aston Villa make the trip to Russia this Thursday for their second-leg UEFA Cup encounter with CSKA Moscow. So with the tie poised at 1-1, can Martin O’Neill’s team progress?

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