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Brett Emerton announces retirement

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Brett Emerton's career has come to an end as the Sydney FC man announced his retirement at a press conference on Thursday morning.

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The decision puts an end to a career that has spanned 17 years, since making his first appearance with Sydney Olympic in the NSL in 1996.

Since that time Emerton has gone on to make 490 club appearances, scoring 47 goals, while also playing 95 matches for Australia and scoring 20 goals.

With 95 caps, Emerton is the third highest capped Socceroo, behind Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill, while his 20 goals see him as seventh on the list, level with David Zdrilic and one ahead of Graham Arnold.

Indeed, if Emerton's "B" Internationals counted he would have hit 100 caps but can be proud of his 95, with five of those matches coming as captain.

In 2000 Brett Emerton also lead the Under 23 side at the Sydney Olympic Games while playing at the three major youth levels.

To join that Olyroos side Emerton turned down an offer from Manchester United in 1999, a side then on top of the world, fresh from the treble. A decision that earned him the captaincy.

2000 was a banner year for Emerton as he also headed to Europe in 2000, joining Feyenood in Holland where he proved a vital member of the side, who went on to win the 2002 UEFA Cup, despite Emerton being suspended from the final.

2002 also proved a big year for Emerton, as that UEFA Cup win was followed by an Oceania Footballer of the Year award, leading to being signed by Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League.

Blackburn was Emerton's longest stint, managing 247 appearances for the club, alongside Socceroos captain Lucas Neill in a solid back-line.

2003 saw Emerton play a vital part in one of Australia's most memorable friendly matches as he scored a goal in Australia's 3-1 win over England at Upton Park in London.

Emerton moved to the A-League in 2011, and his move a long with Harry Kewell sparked headlines and brought some more attention to the A-League.

Since joining Sydney FC Emerton has gone on to make 57 appearances, scoring seven goals and was named the first ever A-League All Stars captain in 2013.

Emerton's last match will take place this week as Sydney FC welcome Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

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