The former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner has announced his retirement from football aged 33.
Danish international Bendtner, who also had spells at Sunderland, Birmingham and Juventus, scored 30 times for his country in 81 games in an international career spanning 12 years.
Bendtner ended up being better known for expressing confidence in his own ability and for celebrating a Euro 2012 goal by dropping his shorts to reveal a pair of Paddy Power underpants, something he was later fined €80,000 for.
“I want to be top scorer in the Premier League, top scorer at the World Cup and, within five years, I want to be among the best strikers in the world,” Bendtner once said. “Trust me, it will happen. I look around at other players, I see my own ability and I can’t see anything that tells me it won’t happen, I’m sure people will think ‘What is he talking about?’ But as I have done before, and as I will do again, I will sit at the other end and laugh at those people when it is all done.” The Dane did not achieve any of these ambitions.
Since making his Arsenal debut in 2005, Bendtner’s major honours included a Serie A title with Juventus, a German Cup with Wolfsburg and two Norwegian championships. Bendtner is considering moving into coaching now he has quit the sport.
“I think I’ll spend a lot of time understanding that it’s really over now,” Bendtner said upon announcing his retirement. “Now I will find something else that gives me what football has given me in all the years. Football is a big part of my life and I cannot leave it.”
“That is why I am in the process of taking the coaching education. I hope it will give me as much or maybe more than it did as a player. That way, I will always be a part of football.”