Taffarel retires

CLAUDIO TAFFAREL, Brazil's World Cup winning goalkeeper in 1994, has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 37. Taffarel, who played in Europe for Italian clubs Parma and Reggiana and Turkish side Galatasaray, was offered a one-year deal by Serie A club Empoli but decided to retire. "I don't want to continue playing, I am quitting. I am doing this above all for my children," said the Brazilian. "I am certainly leaving football but I'd like to stay in Parma and I'd like to open a restaurant here," added the 'keeper.

Taffarel, out of contract after leaving Parma at the end of last season, had originally agreed to join Empoli but said he had a last minute rethink after his car broke down as he set off to sign a contract.

"I simply realised then that it wasn't what I wanted. I turned it down because it didn't feel right," said Taffarel. Taffarel was a hero for Brazil when it won the 1994 World Cup final against Italy in the USA on penalties.

The 'keeper saved a penalty in the shoot-out from Daniele Massaro before Roberto Baggio struck his spot kick over the bar to hand Brazil the title. Four years later he was in goal as Brazil lost 3-0 to host France.