Seb announces his retirement
Former Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson has announced that he will retire at the end of the current Allsvenskan season, which means the final game of his long career will be on November, 6.
Larsson currently plays for AIK, and told the Swedish club’s official website that ending his career in his homeland is one of the best decisions he has ever made:
Football has given me so much and has been a big part of my whole life. After a long process, I have now made the decision to end my active career after this season.
My time at AIK has been absolutely fantastic. Moving home to Sweden and getting the opportunity to represent this beautiful club for four and a half years is one of the best decisions I’ve made.
The 37-year-old played more times for Sunderland than any other club during his career, 176 times in total, scoring 12 goals and started in the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City in 2014 and was then named the Supporter’s Player of the Year the following season.
As well as AIK and Sunderland, Larsson played for Arsenal, Hull City and Birmingham City and retires with 133 international caps to his name, with only Anders Svensson and Thomas Ravelli featuring more times for Sweden.
Listen to Thome
In the latest edition of the Roker Rapport podcast, our own Chris Wynn interviewed the former Sunderland defender Emerson Thome.
You can listen to what the classy Brazilian had to say by checking out the Roker Rapport podcast HERE or by simply pressing play on the YouTube video below:
Gyan didn’t want to leave
A lot has been said about Asamoah Gyan’s controversial move to UAE outfit Al Ain from Sunderland, but according to the Ghanaian striker, he did not want to leave the North East.
Speaking to Pure FM (as reported by Ghana Soccernet), Gyan said the club forced his hand despite him being happy at the club and being the main man up front following the departure of Darren Bent during the previous transfer window.
The striker said Sunderland expected him back following the initial loan deal but said he fell in love with the place and decided to instead sign the permanent deal, which was made easier with the fact that Sunderland had let him leave and ‘didn’t care about the fans’:
When the offer came, it was just a loan deal, and they felt they needed that money so they made me go and in the contract, it was stated that when the player decides to stay after the loan deal, they will offer a four-year permanent deal.
Sunderland thought I will go and come back because they needed the money at that time. However, when I went there I was top scorer and my football improved. So I assessed myself, something that will make me happy, and I fell in love with the place so I decided to sign the extension.
But when the deal actually came, I didn’t want to leave because I was the marksman and Darren Bent had left for Aston Villa and I was the top man, scoring goals and the fans loved me. So when you look at all these things and let me leave and I also look at my personal terms and I feel it was good, and the club wanted me out, why not?
They didn’t care about the fans and if they turned a blind eye to all that I did and wanted to let me leave, why not.