CARSON, Calif. --
Swiss midfielder Raphaël Wicky, a World Cup veteran who played in Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the United States, as well as the UEFA Champions League, today officially announced his retirement from professional soccer for personal reasons. Wicky originally joined Chivas USA before the 2008 season, during which he made just five appearances for the Red-and-White, due to a series of injuries.
"I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone at Chivas USA for giving me the opportunity to play in Major League Soccer," said Wicky. "I had a wonderful experience with the club, and only wish that I could have contributed more on the field."
"Raphaël had a great career as a player, and was a positive influence in our locker room," said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki. "We'll miss him, and want to wish him the best of luck moving forward."
Wicky joined Chivas USA in 2008 from FC Sion in his native Switzerland, where he first started his professional career. Prior to rejoining Sion, Wicky spent six seasons in the German Bundesliga with Hamburg SV (2001-2007), where he accumulated 126 appearances, including in the UEFA Champions League. He spent the 2000-2001 season with Atlético Madrid, then of Spain's second division, following three years with his first Bundesliga club, Werder Bremen (1997-2000), where he won the German Cup in 1999. Wicky made his first division professional debut with Sion, where he played from 1993-1997, winning the Swiss league championship in 1997, as well as Swiss Cup titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He joined Chivas USA in early 2008.
On the international level, Wicky was a mainstay on the Switzerland National Team from 1996-2006, including the European championships in 1996, at age 19, and Euro 2004, where he started all three games for his country. In 2006, at the FIFA World Cup in Germany, Wicky started all four games before Switzerland was eliminated on penalty kicks against the Ukraine in the second round, finishing the tournament as the only team not to give up a goal during regulation time. In all, Wicky accumulated 75 international matches for Switzerland.
Chivas USA kicks off its fifth campaign in Major League Soccer when its hosts the Colorado Rapids in an Opening Day match on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center. For more information on Chivas USA season tickets, as well as the unbeatable All-Star five-game pack (starting at just $50), please call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 or visit cdchivasusa.com.