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Wolfsburg midfielder Ignacio Camacho has retired from professional football at the age of 30 after struggling with a persistent ankle injury.

Camacho’s last appearance for Wolfsburg came in September 2018.

The former Malaga and Atletico Madrid star injured his ankle in a DFB-Pokal game against Hannover 96 three years ago but failed to truly recover despite undergoing up to five operations.

Camacho will remain at Wolfsburg for the next two years for a training programme, which involves learning about the academy and other departments.

A statement published on the club’s website read: ‘’ VfL midfielder Ignacio Camacho has ended his playing career due to injury. The 30-year-old Spanish midfielder’s contract has been terminated, but he will remain at VfL after reaching an agreement to start a two-year training programme with immediate effect. At Monday’s emotional press conference, which also included managing director Jörg Schmadtke, ‘Cama’ called time on his playing career and thanked those who have supported him during his time at the club so far. Camacho’s wife Carlota and two children, Nico and Ginebra, were also in attendance.’’

Camacho made only one appearance for Spain in a friendly against Germany in 2014.

“I fought non-stop to get back on the pitch,” said Camacho

“But I’m leaving safe in the knowledge that I did all that I could.

‘’I gave it absolutely everything I’d got to get back to doing what I love best, and that’s playing football.

‘’It wasn’t easy – I’ve been in pain every day over the last three years and, ultimately, it has prevented me from carrying on. I’m very grateful to those who have helped me – it wasn’t easy for them either.”

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