Former Anderlecht cult midfielder Sacha Kljestan stops playing football: “I lived my dream for 17 years”


“Today I announce my farewell to professional football”: Sacha Kljestan (37) announced to the world on Thursday afternoon via his social channels that his football boots will now hang on the hook. The American midfielder amassed a total of 52 caps for Team USA, played the Olympic Games in Beijing with it and then became a true cult footballer in Belgium.

Martin Goethals

From 2010 to 2015, the American strolled with his distinctive mustache on the fields of the Jupiler Pro League. In that period he won no fewer than three national titles and four super cups for Anderlecht. Van Neerpede went to the New York Red Bulls, Orlando City and finally LA Galaxy, where at the age of 37 he is now finally giving up.

Through his social channels, he already says that it was a difficult decision. “Thank you, football, for taking me around the world. Thanks to you I made friends all over the world. Thanks to you I got to know more about myself, but also about other people, countries, religions, cultures and traditions. Things I could never have learned in school. I learned all about winning and losing. And what it means to be a good teammate. Thanks to football, I learned what hard work really means and what it takes to become the very best ‘you’.”

Kljestan also thanks his entire family and everyone who supported him during his career. And he also looks back on his period at Anderlecht: “As a teenager I sprinted home to see the second half of a Champions League match. A few years later I played in successive Champions League tournaments myself. I was able to live my dream for 17 years. I’m thankful for the career I’ve had, the big games I’ve played in, but most of all I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made along the way.”

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