Van Bronckhorst to end playing career after World Cup

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ROTTERDAM, (Reuters) -- Netherlands captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst has decided to bring the curtain down on his playing career after the World Cup finals.

"I had doubts for months and the decision to quit wasn't easy but now I feel relieved," the 35-year-old defender told a news conference at his club Feyenoord on Wednesday.

"The World Cup is a beautiful end for my career. Besides physical (conditioning) you also need to be mentally fit and that is how I feel now (after deciding to retire)."

Van Bronckhorst has 97 caps, scoring five goals, and was named national team captain after goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar quit international football following the Euro 2008 finals.

The former Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona player will join Feyenoord's technical staff after the finals in South Africa.