"I want to confirm Juninho Pernambucano's decision. We talked and he decided to end his career," Vasco's president Roberto Dinamite said.

Juninho had earlier this month agreed to continue playing until May after recovering from an adductor injury suffered in November. But it is understood he has struggled in recent weeks to regain his fitness and motivation to play.

Juninho, who played in each of Lyon's seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from 2002 to 2008, is considered one of the best free-kick takers of all time. He won 40 caps for Brazil and represented the Selecao at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

(Agencies)

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