Friedel hangs up gloves

Date published: Thursday 14th May 2015 11:32

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The 43-year-old American, who has been at White Hart Lane since 2011, is returning to the United States to work as a pundit for Fox Sports and will also start working on his coaching badges.

Friedel has been playing for 21 years and started his career in England in 1997 with Liverpool before moves to Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham, where he has been back-up to Hugo Lloris since the Frenchman’s arrival.

He won the League Cup with Rovers in 2002 and also won a Turkish Cup with Galatasaray early in his career in 1996. Friedel has also won 82 caps for the United States.

“I always wanted to play as long as I could but there’s two things that go with that – one is physically being able to which I still am, two is mentally wanting to do it,” Friedel told Sky Sports.

“It’s not as easy as people think, waking up every morning, then we just collect our wage, we turn up at training and say hello to everyone and go away. I’ve reached that point where mentally I am ready to call it a day.

“I’ve loved living in England. Myself and my family have fallen in love with the place. My kids were born and raised here so moving to the United States is something completely different for them. 

“I’m not moving back for the sole reason I am American. If the opportunities weren’t there and they weren’t so great I would have no problem living my life in England. It’s my home away from home.”

On his time at White Hart Lane, he told the club’s website: “This is a wonderful football club and I feel honoured to have been a part of it for four years.

“The manager is great, there is incredible talent in the changing room, both young & old and with time I see great things ahead.

“One thing I will miss is that day-to-day interaction with the staff and players. There really is nothing like it but my 44th birthday is here so I think it is a good time to call it a day. I’ve got some wonderful opportunities in front of me working for Fox TV and I’m completing my pro licence.

“I’ve also signed on as a Club Ambassador for Spurs focusing on the USA.  I’ve got a great relationship with the staff and Board, so I’ll certainly do my bit to help the club go further.”

Friedel has not started a Premier League game since Mauricio Pochettino arrived at the club last year, and the Spurs boss says there is no certainty he will be selected for either of their remaining games despite his regard for the veteran shot-stopper.

“It’s been a real pleasure to work with him and to know him because he’s a top man, a top professional and it was fantastic to spend time with him this season,” Pochettino said.

“It’s not easy at 44, but all his career he was very professional, he was one of the best ‘keepers in England.

“I think he’s crossed the line now because he wants to, not because his body says, ‘I cannot play any more’. He’s in a very good level in his physical condition.

“All players are always in my plans. It’s not easy, but you never know. Always we need to be professional. We have our emotion, but always in football you need to take a decision as a professional and we always need to show we are professional and this is the way we always take.”

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