After 288 Hyundai A-League appearances, 83 clean sheets, two championships, two premierships and two FIFA World Cups, Eugene Galekovic has announced his retirement from football.
The 37-year-old’s decision to call it a day comes four days after Melbourne City’s Elimination Final exit at the hands of former club Adelaide United, where he spent 10 seasons.
A fortnight ago, Galekovic scooped City’s player of the year award after a sensational campaign where he regularly rolled back the years and kept Mark Birighitti – brought in by the club in September 2018 to challenge for the number one jersey - firmly second choice.
“I’m sad to call it a day but proud of my career and what I have achieved,” Galekovic told www.melbournecityfc.com.
“Thanks to my parents for giving me the opportunity from a young age to realise my dreams and thanks to my partner who has supported me in my journey.
“These past two seasons at City have been very rewarding and I’ve enjoyed sharing my experience and helping along the younger players. There is a lot of talent in the ranks at City and I’m sure success is just around the corner.”
Defender Iacopo La Rocca and goalkeeper James Delianov have also been released by the club, while loanees Ritchie de Laet, Shayon Harrison and Riley McGree all returned to their respective parent clubs on Wednesday.
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At a glance: Galekovic's Hyundai A-League legacy
Galekovic made his professional debut as a 19-year-old for National Soccer League outfit Eastern Pride before joining South Melbourne.
After a stint with Portuguese club Beira-Mar in 2004, he returned to Australia and was in between the sticks for Melbourne Victory’s inaugural match – a 1-1 draw against Sydney FC on Sunday 28 August 2005.
Galekovic won the 2006/07 Premiership and Championship double with Ernie Merrick’s Victory, but it is with Adelaide where the former Chelsea Hadkuk junior truly made his name as an all-time competition great.
He was a crucial figure in helping the Reds progress to the 2009 AFC Champions League Final, led the club’s FFA Cup 2014 triumph, and captained Adelaide's Premiership and Championship double in 2015/16.
Galekovic’s consistently reliable presence in the City of Churches saw him receive four Goalkeeper of the Year awards (2008/09, 2009/10, 2013/14, 2014/15), while he was voted the club’s player’s player three times (2008/09, 2009/10 and 2011/12).
He made eight 'A' international appearances for the Caltex Socceroos (nine in total), representing Australia at the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and winning the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on home soil.