S Korean football star Ahn Jung-hwan retires

Updated: 2012-01-31 17:12


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SEOUL - South Korean footballer Ahn Jung-hwan announced his retirement on Tuesday after a 14-year career that saw him claim 67 international caps.

S Korean football star Ahn Jung-hwan retires

South Korean footballer Ahn Jung-hwan wipes tears during a press conference to announce his retirement from soccer in Seoul, Jan 31, 2012.[Photo/CFP]

The 36-year-old is best remembered for his dramatic golden goal that knocked Italy out of the 2002 World Cup, co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.

South Korea reached the semifinals that year in its best-ever placing at the quadrennial competition.

During a press conference in Seoul, a teary Ahn said he is looking forward to the challenge of a new life after football.

"I've experienced many different football cultures in different countries, and those were really lucky times of my life," Ahn said. "I reached the World Cup three times, and I enjoyed everything a football player could have enjoyed."

S Korean football star Ahn Jung-hwan retires

Ahn Jung-hwan celebrates after scoring the winning golden goal for South Korea against Italy in the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, sending South Korea into the semifinals, at the Daejeon World Cup Stadium in South Korea, June 18, 2002 file photo. [Photo/CFP]

At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Ahn scored the winning goal to give South Korea a 2-1 win over Togo in the group stage and its first victory in the tournament on foreign soil.

Ahn said he wants to work with young players for the development of South Korean football. "I've been thinking a lot of working with young players," he said.

"With football, fundamentals are important. I want to help players from young age and give a lot of help for development."

Ahn signed a three-month contract with Chinese Super League side Dalian Shide in March 2009 and scored his first CSL goal on 18 April 2009. He then extended his contract with Dalian to Dec 2010, despite that J-League club Oita Trinita had an intention to sign him. He was promoted to team captain in Season 2010 and had been the key player in the club.

S Korean football star Ahn Jung-hwan retires

Fans of Dalian Shide demonstrate a huge banner in acknowledgement to Ahn Jung-hwan during his last CSL game for Dalian, Oct 29, 2011 file photo. [Photo/CFP]

S Korean football star Ahn Jung-hwan retires

Ahn Jung-hwan of Dalian Shide celebrates after scoring against Qingdao Zhongneng during their Chinese Super League game, July 5, 2009 file photo. [Photo/CFP]