Malta Football Association
NEWS:
“It’s been a great honour to represent my country”
Mar 25, 2017
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UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE 2020

Gareth Sciberras will make his 52nd and final appearance in a Malta shirt in Sunday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Slovakia at the National Stadium (8.45pm) after the talismanic midfielder announced that he is retiring from football at the end of the season.


The 33-year-old, who is admired as much for his all-out endeavour and footballing abilities as much as for his dedication and affable character, made the announcement during today’s pre-match news conference at the National Stadium.

 

Sciberras told the assembled media that he had already informed his club, Birkirkara FC, that he was calling time on his footballing career at the end of this season and therefore the home qualifier against Slovakia on Sunday will mark his final call for Malta.

 

“After thinking hard and having a very long discussion with my family, I’ve decided to retire at the end of the season, that means in May, therefore tomorrow’s game will be my last for the national team,” Sciberras, who turns 34 on Wednesday, said.

 

“My club, Birkirkara, have already been informed about this. We’ve discussed it and they understand my decision.

 

“I just want to say that it’s been a great honour to represent my country throughout all these years. It’s something that I take a lot of pride in and I believe every young Maltese boy should do the same.”

 

Sciberras appealed to the local sporting public to give more support to Maltese football, urging them to focus more on the positives rather than the negatives.

 

“It has been a great journey, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my life and to be able to dedicate more time to my young family,” he said.

 

On the tough qualifier against Slovakia and the absence of some key Malta players, Sciberras said: “As a senior player, I think that, although you see some established players missing, this gives an opportunity to the young players to show what they are made of and fight for positions in the team.

 

“I think competition is healthy and tomorrow is the perfect stage for some of these players to show that they are challenging for that first-team place.

 

“The team has been working really well this week. Obviously, there’s always added motivation at facing such a difficiult opponent but I think tomorrow it will be a very good performance from the team.”

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