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Former England defender Campbell retires


LONDON (Reuters) -- Former England defender Sol Campbell announced his retirement as a player on Wednesday bringing down the curtain on a career that spanned five clubs over two decades and included one of the most acrimonious transfers of recent years.

The strong central defender, 37, made 646 appearances for five different clubs between 1992 and 2011, as well as playing 73 times for England and taking part in three World Cups and three European Championships.

He made his professional debut as an 18-year-old for Tottenham Hotspur where he was revered as the team's captain and outstanding player for 10 years before signing for north London rivals Arsenal -- a move that provoked fury among Spurs fans.

However, he enjoyed considerable success with Arsenal, winning two league titles and two FA Cups as well as scoring in the 2006 Champions League final which Arsenal lost to Barcelona.

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He was a member of the Gunners 'Invincibles' side that went through the 2003-4 Premier League season unbeaten, and he also played for Notts County, Portsmouth, where he captained the side to their 2008 FA Cup victory, and Newcastle United.

His final game was for Newcastle in March 2011.

(Reporting by Mike Collett; editing by Martyn Herman)

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