Former Manchester City and Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has announced his retirement from football at the age of 34.
Nasri, who won two Premier League titles and a League Cup with City during his five-year stay at the Etihad, had recently played in Belgium with former teammate Vincent Kompany’s Anderlecht side.
The former French international had already been loaned by Sevilla, then Antalyaspor and West Ham after his departure from City, but left the Belgian side when the coronavirus pandemic put an end to football in the country in 2020.
In 2018, Nasri was given an 18-month suspension from UEFA after receiving intravenous treatment at a Los Angeles clinic two years earlier, in violation of World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
Speak to the French publication Sunday Newspaper Nasri revealed that the ban played a role in her decision to retire as it disrupted her career.
“One incident really hurt me and changed my relationship with football: my suspension. I found it more than unfair because I was not taking any drugs,” he said.
“It was just an injection of vitamins because I was sick. It stopped me in my tracks.”
Nasri started his career in Marseille before joining Arsenal in 2008.
He spent three years in north London before moving to Manchester City, where he won two Premier League titles before joining Sevilla on loan in 2016.
The midfielder reunited with Kompany at Anderlecht in July 2019 but only made seven appearances for the club and says he did not want to return to Ligue 1 unless it is a return in Marseille.
“There was an emotional side, but also the idea of being a player and somehow a staff member. As I would love to coach, I thought I would learn working with him. [Kompany]”, he added.” It did not go as planned. Then the league was suspended due to Covid.
“After that, I didn’t necessarily have the motivation anymore. No challenge really suited me. And I couldn’t see myself coming back to France if it wasn’t for OM.”