Brett Emerton is set to announce his retirement, ending one of Australian football’s most distinguished careers.
Sydney FC’s marquee player has reportedly informed the club he intends to retire with immediate effect.
Emerton, 34, has been troubled by worsening back problems all season, making just nine appearances this A-League campaign.
He’s the third-highest capped Socceroo behind Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill, the midfielder earning the last of his 94 caps for Australia in December 2012 at the East Asian Cup qualifiers.
The move could pave the way for Sydney to make a concerted effort to land Tom Rogic as their Australian marquee signing.
Emerton has enjoyed a glittering career, playing at two World Cups and scoring 20 times for his country.
The former Blackburn Rovers’ skipper made a move to the A-League in September 2011 after almost a decade in the English Premier League.
But he has struggled for form this season and cut a dejected figure when he was substituted early in the second half during the Sky Blues’ derby loss to Western Sydney on the weekend.
This Saturday’s home clash with defending champions Central Coast at Allianz Stadium is set to be Emerton’s final game.
Emerton began his professional career at National Soccer League side Sydney Olympic in 1996 before earning a move to Dutch side Feyenoord.
Playing alongside Shinji Ono and Robin van Persie, Emerton was a central figure in Feyenoord’s run to the 2002 UEFA Cup final.
He then signed for Rovers in July 2003, eventually making 247 appearances for the Premier League side.