Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian footballer and living legend at Persija Jakarta, Ismed Sofyan, announced his retirement from professional football on Monday at the age of 44.

"There is a new kind of life ahead, full of experience waiting to happen. Some call it retiring, I call it happiness," Sofyan posted on Instagram.

Born on August 28, 1979, in Aceh Tamiang, Sofyan spent 25 years as a professional footballer before ending his playing career on February 3.

"Praise be to God, I have achieved my goals. I wanted to retire as a player," Sofyan said.

The former right-back ended his spell at Persija Jakarta in 2022 after spending 21 years with the club that won the 2017–2018 season of the Indonesian first division league.

Sofyan then moved to Bekasi FC, though he failed to promote his club from the second-tier league.

"I thank Persija for giving me opportunities for 21 years and accomplishing achievements with Jakmania (fans)," he added.

"And thank you, FC Bekasi, for another year on the pitch and retiring here," he remarked.

In his international career, Sofyan has been listed for one of the highest caps for the Indonesian national team as a right-back in more than 50 matches.

According to Transfermarkt, Sofyan played for both Indonesia U-19 and U-23 before making his senior debut on October 13, 2000, during the Asian Cup 2000 in Lebanon.

"When I retire from football, I hope I will be remembered for being a decent guy," Sofyan said, quoting Argentine footballer Lionel Messi's words.

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Reporter: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
Editor: Anton Santoso
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