Former FC Pune City star Mohamed Sissoko retires

Former Mali international Mohamed Sissoko, who was FC Pune City's marquee player for Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2016, has announced his retirement from professional football. The defensive midfielder has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning almost two decades and has represented some of the biggest clubs in Europe like Valencia, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain, among others.

Sissoko started his youth career in 1998 with French club Auxerre and rose through the ranks, primarily playing as an attacker. In 2003, he moved to Spain to join La Liga side Valencia CF. Under the management of Rafael Benitez, Sissoko was utilised as a defensive midfielder and played an integral part in Valencia's La Liga triumph in 2003-04 as well as the Europa League (then called the UEFA Cup) 2004 win. He also won the UEFA Super Cup with Valencia.

With Benitez joining Liverpool in 2004, Sissoko followed him to Anfield the next season and helped the club win the 2006 FA Cup trophy and the UEFA Super Cup. He left England in 2008 to join Italian giants Juventus. With his stint in Italy cut short due to injuries, Sissoko signed for French giants PSG in 2011 and was a part of their Ligue 1 winning side in the 2012-13 campaign.

After brief stints in Spain and China, Sissoko arrived on Indian shores after signing for Pune in 2016. The midfield ace captained the Stallions in Hero ISL 2016, as Pune finished sixth. He played 13 matches in the campaign and even scored twice. After his departure from Pune, Sissoko went on to represent several clubs in Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong. He last played for French side FC Sochaux in Ligue 2.

On the international front, Sissoko, despite being eligible to play for France, opted to play for Mali and turned up 34 times for his country, including in the African Cup of Nations.

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