‘Not fun anymore’ – Former Newcastle United defender announces retirement at 31
The Italian full-back was released from AS Roma in the summer having not played a minute of football during the 2021-22 campaign.
Santon joined Newcastle from Inter Milan in 2011 and helped the club secure an impressive fifth place finish in his first season. He went on to play 94 times for The Magpies, scoring once.
Santon, who played eight times for the Italian national team, returned to Inter in 2015 before moving to Roma in 2018. He has now reluctantly announced his retirement due to injury.
“I find myself forced to quit playing football,” Santon said on TMW Radio. “My body, due to the numerous injuries I suffered over the years, can’t handle this sport anymore. I don’t want to retire, but I have to.
“Last year – after being excluded from the team – I was constantly undergoing medical tests which unfortunately showed that I cannot continue.
"I can still walk using my own two legs but it’s not enough to play professional football.
“If I have to play with the fear of hurting myself any further I don’t want to. I’ve played with that fear for many years. Over the last few years, playing football was not fun anymore: it was pain and suffering.”
Santon enjoyed a relatively injury free first three seasons at Newcastle before picking up a knee injury that saw him lose his place in the side to Paul Dummett. He left to join Inter shortly afterwards.