Harry Kewell announced today that he will be retiring from professional football. One of Australia's greatest players, Kewell's eighteen-year career will come to a close on Saturday April 12 when the Heart host Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park. The club announced that its captain will miss the next two games due to an abdominal strain but will be fit enough to play one last time on home soil.
Of course Kewell spent the best years of his career in England, first with Leeds United and then at Liverpool. He made a much ballyhooed move to Melbourne Victory in 2011/12 but never quite recaptured the promise or form that were so tantalizing for so many years. After a strange year between A-League stints, Kewell returned to Melbourne to play with Heart in this 2013/14 season. Cut short again by injury, he was still the club's captain and when he did play, helped the Heart on a surprising run late in the season.
As Heart transition into a new era, thanks to the backing of Manchester City, Kewell's place in the team was always going to be a question. By announcing his retirement he saves both himself and the club the trouble of figuring out what to do next. For now he can enjoy his final professional appearance and exit gracefully as a legend and contributor to both the international and domestic development in Australian football.