Benoit Cheyrou retires, joins Toronto FC academy coaching staff

Toronto FC midfielder Benoit Cheyrou announced his retirement on Thursday after 19 professional seasons. He will join the coaching staff at the Toronto FC Academy.

The 36-year-old Frenchman retires on a high after helping the Reds become the first team in MLS history to win the domestic treble, which concluded with their 2017 MLS Cup win earlier this month. He also won two Canadian Championships and two Eastern Conference crowns in his three MLS seasons. Cheyrou was awarded the 2016 George Gross Memorial Trophy as Canadian Championship MVP.

On the field, he may be most remembered for an extra-time goal in the second leg of the 2016 MLS Cup Eastern Conference semifinals against the Montreal Impact, which put TFC ahead 6-5 on aggregate.

“It has been an absolute pleasure for me to be a part of this team for three years. I am blessed to finish my career with the treble and I am very proud of that,” Cheyrou said in a team statement. “I would like to thank everyone at the club and in the wonderful city of Toronto that have supported me during my time at Toronto FC. I will now be the biggest fan of Toronto FC and I wish the club all the best.”

Prior to joining Toronto FC, Cheyrou spent the first 16 years of his playing career in France. He leaves the game having won the Ligue 1 title (2009-10) and three consecutive Coupe de la Ligue titles (2010, 2011, 2012) with Olympique de Marseille.