Former Arsenal and Olympique Lyonnais midfielder, Kim Källström announced today that he is hanging up his boots, bringing to an end a career which spanned almost two decades. The 35-year-old, who made 131 appearances for Sweden and scored sixteen goals, said that he no longer has the energy to train in between matches.
Källström's playing days are over
“I feel I'm done, and I've done what I can on the field,” Källström told reporters at an emotional press conference. “It's fun to play matches at the weekend, but you have to be able to do the work during the week. I feel I lack the energy there.”
Arsenal legend Kim Kallstrom is retiring. pic.twitter.com/8yf7exqtb7— London's Red Bitches (@LondonsRedFb) 15 December 2017
One of Wenger’s strangest signings
The Swedish midfielder moved to London on a six-month loan from Spartak Moscow in January 2014. For many, it was a very strange signing, especially after it was discovered that he was carrying a back injury which showed up in a routine scan during his medical for Arsenal. But Arsène Wenger had no hesitations in sanctioning the move. “You'll stay here, make sure you heal, then train. I'll take you when you're fit,” the Gunners coach told him.
The Swede made just four appearances for Arsenal. He is best remembered for scoring a crucial penalty in an FA Cup semi-final win against Wigan.
"Although my contribution was small in the 120-year history of the club, it was a highlight for me. The greatest 15 minutes of my life", he later said of that moment. And Arsenal fans have fond memories of Källström, which was evident on Twitter this afternoon.
Källström started his professional career with Gothenburg-based BK Häcken in 1999. During his first season, the club gained promotion to the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s top-flight. In 2002, he joined Djurgardens IF. Källström had a crucial role in the team winning the 2002 league and Cup double. In January 2004, the midfielder was transferred to French Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais. In his first season with the club, he scored seven goals from 18 appearances.
After two and a half brilliant seasons at Rennes, Källström joined Lyon in 2006, team with which he played more than 200 games over six years, collecting two Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France and two Trophée Des Champions. After stints at Spartak Moscow, Arsenal and Zurich Grasshoppers, this year Källström returned to Djurgardens IF.
With the Swedish National team, the midfielder gained 131 caps and scored 16 goals. He retired after an unsuccessful participation at Euro 2016 France. Källström is Sweden’s fourth most capped player.