Former Dutch international defender Jaap Stam has decided to retire from the game because of injury and lack of focus.
The 35-year-old Ajax player told a press conference he had thought about retiring before the start of the season but had been persuaded to continue playing.
“Before this season I spoke with Ajax and told them that I missed the drive to continue,” Stam told reporters.
“But they persuaded me to go on, although physical problems are the reasons for quitting right now.”
“When I play I am more focused on myself than the team and that is not good, not for the team and not for me, because it reduces my concentration and causes mistakes.”
Stam played his last match for Ajax on October 20 against NEC Nijmegen when he was substituted after feeling ill.
Stam started his career in 1992 at Zwolle before joining PSV Eindhoven four years later.
He joined Manchester United in 1998 and won the treble in his first season in England, before moving to Lazio in 2002 after he fell out with United boss Alex Ferguson following remarks he made about his move to Old Trafford in his biography.
After three years in Rome Stam moved on to Milan and in 2006 he returned to Holland to finish his career at Ajax, where he signed a two-year deal.
Stam won 67 before ending his international career after the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.