Antonio Di Natale to retire at the end of the season

Claudio Villa

Udinese striker and Serie A legend Antonio Di Natale will retire at the end of the season.

Serie A will wave goodbye to a true legend at the end of the season, with Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale set to retire after an 18 year professional career. In the wake of his team's 3-1 defeat to Hellas Verona today, Di Natale told Sky Sport Italia: "in June, it ends. I stop playing."

The 36-year-old is currently Serie A's all time 11th top-goalscorer, having scored 180 goals in 373 top-flight appearances.  With the exception of a few early loan deals, the Neapolitan has only ever played for boyhood club Empoli and Udinese.

It is perhaps for that reason Di Natale he hasn't enjoyed the glittering international career that his exceptional domestic goalscoring record suggests he deserves. Since making his debut for the Azzurri back in 2002, Di Natale has picked up 42 international caps and scored 11 goals.

However, that certainly doesn't detract from the fact he is one of the greatest Italian strikers of his generation, and having been a fixture in the Udinese team for over a decade, he'll be hard -- if not completely impossible -- for the zebrette to replace.

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