MONTREAL – Alessandro Nesta will be retiring at the end of this season. But the season isn’t over.
After coming off with a right calf injury on Saturday during the Impact’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union, the former Italian international seemed hopeful that an MRI would only reveal a minor knock which would give him a chance to partake in the MLS playoffs, should Montreal qualify without him next weekend – “We need to go Toronto with a winning mentality,” he told reporters in Italian, as reported by Goal.com.
“I felt something in my calf,” Nesta further said. “But if I can play, I’ll certainly be back on the field, but not next week.”
When asked about Nesta’s injury by MLSsoccer.com on Monday, a Montreal Impact spokesperson indicated that an update may be provided on Tuesday.
The legendary defender appeared to sustain the injury upon landing after an 87th-minute aerial duel with Union forward Conor Casey, who did nothing dangerous on the play.
In an ironic twist, the Impact had thrown a pregame ceremony honoring Nesta for a memorable career during which he won the 2006 World Cup as well as three Italian Serie A titles, three Coppa Italia titles and two UEFA Champions League titles. He was also named the best defender in Serie A four years running, from 2000 to 2003.
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Nesta left Stade Saputo without crutches alongside Marco Di Vaio, his “brother” whom he says it had been a dream to finish his career with before going into coaching. But Nesta’s wish is that their final match together has yet to come.
“I started my career with Marco when I was eight,” Nesta said. "And I finish it [with him]. Maybe today, I don’t know. Maybe next month."