Oxford's Christian Ribeiro retires at 27 due to knee injury
By George Galpin
Last Updated: 22/11/17 3:33pm
Oxford United defender Christian Ribeiro has been forced to retire at the age of 27 due to a knee injury.
The Wales international missed all but three games last season because of a serious ankle injury sustained in pre-season, but had made 14 appearances this campaign.
However, after being substituted in the U's 4-3 Checkatrade trophy loss to MK Dons, the right-back was suffering with serious pain in his left knee and was medically advised to retire.
"It has been really, really tough; the hardest decision I have ever had to make," Ribeiro told the club's website.
"But I have to do what is right in the long term and therefore, sadly, I am going to have to hang up my boots.
"I have always given my all for the team throughout my career but unfortunately over the past couple of months since incurring an issue, I knew that something wasn't right. I was playing in severe pain and really struggling to recover.
"The medical team here have been brilliant but eventually it got to the stage where I had to see a specialist and unfortunately the damage was worse than we had hoped."
Oxford's manager Pep Clotet said: "It is a very sad day for Christian.
"I have only had a chance to work with him for a very short time but he is a fantastic professional, a really good player and I know this is a decision that he has not taken lightly.
"He remains part of the Oxford United family and as a club we will offer him help and support in whatever he does next."
Ribeiro came through the ranks at Bristol City and made his senior debut in August 2008, going onto make 17 appearances over four seasons for the Robins and won both of his full Wales caps while at Ashton Gate.
The right-back enjoyed loan spells at Stockport County, Colchester United and Carlisle United, before another temporary move to Scunthorpe in 2011/12 was made permanent at the end of the season.
Ribeiro made 57 appearances in two seasons at Glanford Park, scoring twice for the Iron, before joining Exeter City on a free in August 2014.
His spell at St James Park was his most fruitful, making 78 of his 188 career appearances and scored six goals of a career total nine whilst at the Grecians.
But after not being offered a new deal at the end of the 2015/16 campaign, Ribeiro then joined Oxford United and made 17 appearances for the club before hanging up his boots.
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