Alexei Smertin calls time on career

MOSCOW - Former Russia captain and Chelsea midfielder Alexei Smertin has decided to hang up his boots after a 16-year professional career, the player said.

"I've retired. It's official now," the 34-year-old, who started his career with his home team Dynamo Barnaul in 1992, was quoted as saying by Russian media.

Siberian-born Smertin joined Chelsea from Girondins Bordeaux in August 2003, helping the west London club to the Premier League title in 2005. He also played for fellow Premier League sides Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic and Fulham.