Winston Bogarde retires

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Many people will raise an eyebrow at the news, announced yesterday, that one-time (almost literally) Chelsea full-back Winston Bogarde, has retired from football. ?This may not be the most surprising news but I can officially announce that I have retired from professional football? said Winston on his tedious ?Icons? website, the one where the former Dutch International seems to have concentrated his efforts since joining Chelsea in 2000.

Winston went on to reveal that ?Since leaving Chelsea almost 18 months ago I kept my options open and remained interested in a footballing challenge that excited me, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened. I had a lot of offers but sadly none of them were what I was looking for. So, after much deliberation I have decided to hang up my boots.?

If some people will be surprised at this, it is certainly because many Chelsea supporters must have been convinced that Winston actually began his golden retirement once he joined Chelsea. After all, signed on a contract rumoured to have given him £42,000 per week, he made a total of 4 starts and a couple more substitute appearances in the 4 years that he was a Chelsea employee. He barely figured for the Chelsea reserves in the meantime or trained with anyone, such was the extent of his mediocrity. Nice work if you can get it, and certainly pretty close to a retirement. To suggest that, over the past 5 years, Winston Bogarde has been involved in professional football is debasing to the noble sport.

In addition, it is laughable to suggest that Winston was inundated with offers. It was the same at Chelsea: despite figuring nowhere in any manager?s plans (it is rumoured that it was a disagreement between Gianluca Vialli and then chief executive Colin Hutchinson on the Dutchman?s signing that lead to Vialli?s departure), he constantly claimed to have been considering offers to play elsewhere. Apparently during 3 long years at Chelsea in the wilderness, no proposal was good enough to tempt him away from sitting on the Chelsea bench, and neither was any such offer during the subsequent 18 months good enough for Mr Bogarde.

For this reason, we are a little peeved at Winston adding that ?Football was kind to me for most of my career, with the exception of my time at Chelsea, but I have little interest in it any more. I really don’t miss playing football at all.? Surely the truth would have been Winston Bogarde?s time at Chelsea was the kindest of all. Or at least the most generous. Given that, according to a rough calculation, he trousered close to £9 million over those 4 years, it would have been polite, at least, to show some gratitude towards Chelsea. Gratitude, however, was never a quality that we came to associate with Winston.

Winston adds that he is now going into business. He?s involved in a company that promotes concerts. Out of respect for the Chelsea supporters who paid Winson?s wages at Chelsea, we won?t say anything more about these, but let?s just advise you strongly not to buy tickets for an Amerie concert in Holland next month: if Bogarde is as dedicated to his new line of work as he was to his previous one, the concert will be cancelled and nobody will know anything about it. In the meantime, those in charge will be more than happy to take the public?s money in return for the proverbial naff all.

For many Chelsea supporters, Bogarde was the epitome of the poor signing, one of the worst in English football history. It is said that Barcelona supporters cheered when they learned that they had offloaded their player to Chelsea. It is sad that we couldn?t do the same sometime between 2000 and 2004. At least we hope to be spared the constant whining from the man: to call him an ungrateful sh*t would be an insult to unappreciative fecal matter?

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