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Milito announces end to playing career

Former Argentina international Diego Milito has announced he will retire from professional football at the end of the 2016 Copa Libertadores.

Milito, who plays for the Buenos Aires-based Racing Club, was set to hang up his boots at the end of the current Argentine Primera Division campaign.

However, Milito decided to play on for another six months after Racing defeated Independiente in the play-offs to book a spot in next year's Libertadores.

"I am happy to say I will play another six months at the club," the 36-year-old said. "I will stay to play the Libertadores.

"It was not easy to stop playing football, something I have been doing my whole life.

"We are in a moment to enjoy, a historic moment and one in a positive way. I think I can continue to contribute to this great group we have formed and enjoy another Libertadores.

"In June 2016 I'm going to retire, no matter what. This is my last six months as a professional player."

Milito spoke about the injuries that have plagued him for the past 12 months.

"I could not do the pre-season," the former Inter striker said. "I had pain in my knee and I said I'd rather not find out what it was.

"There were two paths; have surgery or not continue. But the support of so many people meant bit by bit it gets better."