Ex-Caltex Socceroo Valeri calls time on playing career

Former Caltex Socceroos midfielder Carl Valeri has confirmed he will retire from professional football once the current Hyundai A-League season comes to an end.

Valeri, who plays for Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League, has enjoyed a decorated career in Europe and Australia over more than 15 years.

He spent more than a decade playing in Italy, before returning to Australia with Victory back in 2014.

But the 34-year-old also made a significant contribution with the national team, making 52 appearances after making his debut against China back in 2007.

The highlight of his career came in 2010, when he started all three games at the FIFA World Cup against Germany, Ghana and Serbia.

“After much consideration, the choice for me is a happy one and something I am at peace with,” said Valeri.

“I am excited and committed to play out the rest of the current season, and hopefully achieve success with the group, knowing this will be my last with the football club. 

“It has been an incredible journey for myself and my family, spanning my time at Victory and previously to that with the Socceroos and abroad.

“When I do play my last game, it will be a time of celebration and reflection on a special career and five wonderful seasons with Melbourne Victory.”

The Canberra-born midfielder, who was once signed by Serie A giants Inter Milan, spent 13 years playing in Italy.

He had spells with SPAL, Grosseto, Sassuolo – where he earned promotion to Serie A – and Ternana.

WATCH: Valeri recalls Australia's win over Germany in 2011

Valeri made the move back to Victory for the start of the 2014/15 campaign, helping the club win the Premiership-Championship double in his first season.

He has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the Big V, with two Championships, a Premiers’ Plate and an FFA Cup winners medal to his name.

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Victory boss and former Caltex Socceroos defender Kevin Muscat lauded the impact Valeri has had at the club, with his performances and leadership key to their success in recent years.

“Five years ago, the opportunity to sign Carl arose. Within that process, I spoke to other people about him and the common themes were how respectful he was and the strong family values he holds," Muscat said.

“The respect he has shown this club and the way he has conducted himself has helped us develop great culture at Melbourne Victory.

“Importantly, the way Carl has led the group has been second-to-none and I’m extremely grateful for the support he has given me as the captain and as a person.”

Melbourne Victory
Valeri and his Victory teammates celebrate last season's Grand Final win