Suarez retires with record 178 caps

MEXICO CITY - Former Mexico centre back Claudio 'Emperor' Suarez has retired from football ending a 22-year career that included 178 international appearances - a world record for an outfield player.

The 41-year-old, who has been playing for Chivas USA in the MLS since 2006, said he planned to become a coach.

"I'm relaxed, conscious that time has passed. This moment had to arrive and I took the decision. I already want the next step, to be a coach," Suarez said.

"I've done the coaching course in Mexico, I have the title and I'm going to do one in the United States league," he was quoted as saying on the website.

Suarez began his career with Pumas UNAM in 1998 and helped them win the Mexican league title in 1991.

"I had a good football education with Pumas... that gave me the basics to be a successful player, both technically and tactically and mentally. That learning (process) was essential, that's why I lasted so long (as a player)," he said.

Suarez also played for Guadalajara, Mexico's most popular club with whom he won another league title in 1997, and Tigres UANL.

He played for Mexico at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and took part in qualifiers for the 2002 finals in Asia. Suarez was also in the national squad at Germany 2006 but did not play.

His greatest memory as an international, he said, was winning the 1991 Confederations Cup by beating Brazil in the final at the Azteca in Mexico City.

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