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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Midfielder Alenichev Hangs Up His Boots

Itar-TassDmitry Alenichev
Former Russia international Dmitry Alenichev, sacked by Spartak Moscow for publicly criticizing the manager earlier this year, has announced his retirement from professional soccer.

"I don't see myself playing for any club other than Spartak," Alenichev told Sport-Express newspaper Tuesday.

"That's why I don't have any choice but to end my career."

The midfielder, who turns 34 next month, returned to Spartak in 2004 after a successful spell with Portugal's Porto, where he was part of a team that won the UEFA Cup and Champions League.

He scored in the finals of both competitions.

Alenichev played for Spartak from 1994 to 1998 before joining Italian club AS Roma.

He was named Russia's player of the year in 1997.

He also played in the 2002 World Cup and the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal.

However, his second spell with Spartak ended on a bitter note after he said former club manager Alexander Starkov "messes with people's brains."

Spartak general manager Sergei Shavlo said: "Of course, he [Alenichev] wanted to end his career in a different way. But that's what happened. It's a pity, but that's life."

Alenichev said his dream was to become Spartak's head coach one day. "I would love to coach Spartak in the future," he said.