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Alvaro Saborio, RSL’s most-decorated goal-scorer, announces retirement

First Published      Last Updated Feb 09 2017 11:51 am

Real Salt Lake's greatest goal-scorer is hanging up his boots.

Costa Rican forward Alvaro Saborio confirmed on his Twitter account Thursday morning that he is indeed stepping away from the game. At 34, the striker played his last game Wednesday night for famed Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa. Saborio got into an argument with a group of fans after Saprissa lost to Belén FC 1-0, according to reports from Costa Rica.

The sudden retirement comes less than a month after the mercurial goal-scorer returned to Saprissa on a reported one-year contract. In his retirement announcement on Twitter, Saborio thanked former coaches, front office staff, teammates, club doctors and more as he explained why he was moving on from the game.

"I am happy to have had the opportunity to do what I have loved since childhood for all this time," he wrote. "When I was a kid I dreamed of playing professional football."

Saborio joined RSL in 2010 and quickly became one of the most reliable forwards in the league. He had four straight double-digit scoring seasons from 2010 to 2013. Saborio had 79 career goals (63 in regular-season play) across all competitions in five-and-a-half seasons in Utah, including several memorable goals during RSL's 2011 CONCACAF Champions League final run as well as being RSL's lone scorer in the 2013 MLS Cup final.

Saborio, guarded and often temperamental, ran into injury issues his last two years at RSL. He suffered a broken bone in his foot months before the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Saborio was suspended a game by RSL for an off-field issue a few weeks before being traded to D.C. United in exchange for Luis Silva. The forward missed a regular-season home match against Sporting Kansas City after being excused from a training session earlier in the week for what was described by RSL coach Jeff Cassar as a "personal matter."

Saborio had 10 goals in his two seasons at D.C. United. The move home to Saprissa came as no surprise because the striker had made it known that he wanted to play out the final years of his career at the club he rose to fame with. Saborio's international career will go down as one of the best in Costa Rican history, too.

The forward made 108 career appearances with Los Ticos, netting 35 international goals.

"Now comes a stage of my life that fills me with enthusiasm and joy [and] motivation," he wrote.

—Chris Kamrani

Twitter: @chriskamrani