Ligue 1 legend retires after being dropped

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 legend Stephane Ruffier has retired from football with immediate effect after being dropped and sacked from AS Saint-Etienne.

Ruffier, 34, is widely considered as one of the leagues greatest ever goalkeepers but endured a major fallout with the club's head coach Claude Puel after being dropped from the starting line-up for Jessy Moulin.

The former France international was subsequently released by the top-flight club after featuring 383 times in all competitions over the past decade.

Aviron Bayonnais FC vice-president Jean-Pierre Mainard has now confirmed he will assume a role in the coaching staff of his boyhood club as he looks to kickstart a new stage of his career.

Scroll through the gallery to see the legendary footballers who retired in 2020

"Stephane Ruffier called me," Mainard told Sud Ouest. "He's a real Bayonnais who began his career here.

"He'd planned to end his career at the end of his contract in June, but with what happened at Saint-Étienne, he's doing it sooner."

"He could have continued, signed a short-term deal at another club. But he had already decided to quit at the end of the season."

Overall Ruffier featured 428 times in the French top-flight for Les Verts and AS Monaco respectively, whilst keeping 160 clean sheets.

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