Jermain Defoe, a former England striker who also played for West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Rangers, has retired from professional football at the age of 39. Defoe, who returned to the Black Cats in February, scored 304 goals in 762 club games and 20 goals in 57 England appearances during his career.
During his 22-year career, Jermain Defoe also played for Portsmouth, Bournemouth, and Major League Soccer team Toronto. In a statement, Defoe said, “It’s been a truly difficult choice.”
“I made my professional debut at the age of 17 in 1999, and I believe the time has come for me to retire.” Defoe, a diminutive forward, scored 162 Premier League goals, making him the league’s seventh-best scorer since its inception in 1992-93.
Jermain Defoe is also 15th on the all-time appearances list, with 496 appearances in England’s top division. On January’s deadline day, Defoe’s return to Sunderland was celebrated with a late-night social media announcement, in which the veteran striker characterized the comeback as “special for many reasons.”
He did not, however, achieve the heights of his previous term, making only seven appearances – two of which were starts – and failing to score for the League One strugglers.
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