November 13, 2009

After 15 years of professional soccer and five stops along the way in his career in Mexico, Bruno Marioni has called it quits.

Marioni announced his retirement ahead of Estudiantes' Apertura 2009 finale against Atlante.

"I've decided to make the decision to leave professional football," Marioni said in a press conference on Thursday. "I believe this is a good moment to do so."

Marioni, 34, scored 67 goals in the 10 seasons he spent in Mexico. His best season was his first, when he scored 18 goals for Pumas as he helped them win their first league title in 13 years. Ever since then, Marioni seemed to become an instant fan favorite during all of his stops along way.

"I'd like to give thanks to all of the Mexicans who welcomed me and treated me like just another Mexican," Marioni said.

Marioni spent four seasons with Pumas and scored 27 goals in all for the club. He also helped lead Toluca to the Apertura 2006 final in his only season with los Diablos Rojos.

Marioni found a home in Guadalajara when he joined Atlas for the Apertura 2007 season. He spent two seasons with los Rojinegros before joining Pachuca on loan, but promptly returned to Guadalajara for the Clausura 2009 season. However, he had a falling out with manager Ricardo Lavolpe and after leaving Atlas found his way to Estudiantes.

He said he was grateful for "all of the supporters who have befriended me, with their support and motivation have made me a better footballer and have helped me become the best person I can be."

Entering the final weekend of the Apertura 2009 season, Marioni has scored four goals in nine games this season.

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