Luis Garcia retires: A look back at the former Liverpool favourite, including his 'ghost goal' against Chelsea in the Champions League

The Spaniard played an integral role in Liverpool's Champions League triumph in 2005

Ex-Liverpool forward Luis Garcia has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

In a statement on his website, Garcia said: "Today I've decided to retire as a professional footballer, thanking the interest of the teams that talked to me in recent weeks, but I think it's time to end this important chapter in my life and move to the next page."

Garcia was keen to pay a special tribute to Liverpool, a club he enjoyed three successful seasons at, saying: "[Thanks] to Liverpool FC, for making me pass through the history of international football and be part of the Red family, forever.

"To each and every one of the people over 17 years of [my] career that have been with me, have helped me and supported me at every stage I have lived, and although not mentioned one by one, I will be forever grateful."

Garcia was most famous for his role in Liverpool's 2004-05 Champions League campaign, which culminated in the Merseyside club famously defeating AC Milan on penalties, after being 3-0 down at half-time, to claim their fifth European Cup.

His impact in the semi-final clash with Chelsea will be what lives in the memories of every Liverpool fan. He scored the famous 'ghost goal' which sent the Reds through 1-0 on aggregate.

 

 

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was convinced that William Gallas hooked the ball clear before it crossed the line, even television replays proved inconclusive.

Garcia moved to Anfield in 2004 for around £6m, having previously played for Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. He scored 30 goals in 121 appearances for Liverpool, before deciding to re-join Atletico in 2007.

He has since played for Racing Santander, Panathinaikos and Mexican sides Puebla and Pumas UNAM.

He had been out of contract since the end of last season after Pumas decided not to offer him a new deal. Despite a few offers, he decided that now was the right time to hang up his boots.

 

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