End of an era: Archie farewells Victory

The smiling assassin and Melbourne Victory legend, Archie Thompson, will not be donning the Big V next season.

Fans have called for a statue to erected in honour of the club great who could play his last game for the club in Tuesday's AFC Champions League match against Gamba Osaka. If Victory progresses to the Round of 16, he is available to play in that two-legged tie.

In an emotional meeting Thompson was told by coach and former team-mate Kevin Muscat that his contract would not be renewed, after he played a more peripheral role in 2015/16.

Supporters and players jumped on social media to pay tribute to the club hero and A-League all-time leading goalscorer.Thompson plans to play on but there are no indications as yet where that will be.

The 37-year-old is the only current player remaining on the roster from Victory's inaugural squad in 2005/06 and is most famously remembered for scoring five goals in the 2007 Grand Final against Adelaide United.

He informed his teammates of his decision on Saturday morning, drawing the curtain on 11 seasons at Victory.

"Melbourne Victory has been an amazing club to play for and I've loved every minute of my journey here," Thompson said.

"It's always hard to say goodbye to something that's been such a big part of your life for such a long time, but I feel like the time is right to finish up now.

"I've had some really honest discussions with Kevin Muscat over the last few weeks and I am at peace with the decision I've made.

"I've had so many great experiences with Victory, made lifelong friends and will cherish the memories forever.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank all the coaches who have helped me improve my game, in particular Kevin Muscat, who has been with me from the start and supported me through everything.

"To all my teammates over the years, you have made me a better player and person, and it's been an honour to play alongside you.

"And to the Melbourne Victory members and fans who have backed me in, supported me, chanted my name in the terraces and wished me the best over the years, I will never forget you all.

"I am determined to finish whatever time I have left as a Victory player on a high note in the next few weeks.

"When it's over, I will sit down and decide what the future holds for me."

Thompson’s glittering A-League career includes three Premierships, three Championships and the FFA Cup.

He picked up two Victory Medals (2007/08 and 2009/10) and two club Golden Boot awards (2005/06 and 2006/07).

Thompson notched up 90 goals and holds the record for most goals in finals matches (10). He was the first player to reach 200 Hyundai A-League appearances for Victory, and he is equal sixth on the list of all-time games played in the competition with 224.

"Archie will go down as one of the all-time greats, not only at Melbourne Victory, but in the A-League," said Victory head coach Kevin Muscat.

"What he has done for this club, the competition and the national team is immeasurable, and we can be grateful that he represented Victory with such class and professionalism over a long period of time.

"It was a privilege to play alongside Archie for many years and an honour to coach him.

"We congratulate him on everything he has achieved in an outstanding career and wish him every success in the next phase of his life."

Thompson began his professional career in the National Soccer League, before heading to Belgium club Lierse, where he played until 2005. He returned to Australia for the inaugural A-League season.