Maltese football star André Schembri has announced that he will retire following the final of the Indian Super League cup.
The former Malta international has been a prominent force in local and international football for the good part of 13 years, but has decided that his last professional match will be played for Indian side Chennaiyin FC when they face Goa in the Indian Super League final.
“After thirteen years dedicated to professional football, I feel it is the right time to announce my retirement and focus on other aspects of the game,” said Schembri in a Facebook post.
“I am proud to have had such a fantastic journey across Europe and Asia. It is not easy to leave such a small island like Malta to try and breakthrough professional football oversees. That is why I’ll be forever thankful to the backroom staff, teammates, coaches, and all the teams I’ve played with for the faith they have shown in me. My immense gratitude goes to my family, my parents, and my closest friends for their continued encouragement and commitment to seeing me succeed, wherever the ball led me.”
The Maltese football legend started his professional career with local clubs Hibernians and Marsaxlokk before stints abroad in Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and India.
Schembri shined on the international stage, where he became the first Maltese to score at a UEFA competition and scored both goals in the historic 2-1 win over Hungary, giving Malta its first competitive win in 13 years.
Schembri’s life-changing decision to move to India so late in his career came as a surprise to many who believed that the Maltese striker would come back home to see the end of his career. But the striker had plans for a bigger farewell, and will end his career on a high note with an appearance in the Super League finals against ATK this Saturday 14th March.