Former Peterborough United, Gillingham and Leyton Orient defender Gabriel Zakuani has confirmed his retirement on Twitter.

After leaving Dagenham and Redbridge earlier this summer, defender Gabriel Zakuani has announced his retirement from professional football. The former Peterborough United favourite confirmed that his playing days have come to an end, bringing an end to his 17-year career as a senior player.

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Zakuani spoke on Twitter to confirm his retirement. The DR Congo international thanked those involved with his career, revealing he has a range of opportunities available to him in coaching, media and the corporate world. He said:

“I’ve been getting lots of calls and lots of questions but I’ve been waiting for the right time. So, a quick announcement that I am retiring from full-time professional football.

“I feel like it’s the right time. I’m 34 years old and I started really early playing first-team football at 16 years old. I feel like I’ve achieved everything I set out to achieve for my ability. I improved greatly during my career and won a lot of things, everything possible there is to win in the Football League. 

“After a successful career and successful international career, I feel like I’ve given everything possible for me to give to football. I feel like I’ve left everything on the pitch.

“The COVID has brought so many opportunities for me so I feel like I’m moving into the corporate world, coaching, media and I want to fulfil my potential in those things.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the journey, anyone who supported me, anyone who booed me, anyone who bought a shirt, sent a message, everyone. Thank you for everything.”

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Zakuani enjoyed a thoroughly successful career in the Football League. He made his way through Leyton Orient’s youth academy and earned a move to Fulham, playing twice for the club’s senior side and spending time on loan with Stoke City. He helped the Potters win promotion to the Premier League before securing a move to Peterborough United.

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In two different spells with the Posh, Zakuani played in 251 times across all competitions, becoming a firm fan favourite at London Road.

Zakuani also played for AEL Kalloni, Northampton Town, Swindon Town and Dagenham and Redbridge.