March 23, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leonean football legend and former Inter Milan forward, Mohamed Kallon, has officially announced his retirement from football.
The former Leone Stars captain enjoyed a 20-year career that spanned 13 clubs, including spells at Italian giants Inter Milan and French league side Monaco.
According to the BBC’s Mohamed Fajah Barrie, the former Monaco striker, who last played two years ago in the Sierra Leone Premier League for his own club FC Kallon, believes it was time to call it a day.
“I’m still fit to play but I believe the upcoming players need more from me than what I can achieve in continuing playing,” the former striker said.
“It’s difficult for me to quit because I have passion for the game,” he added. “But I feel I have done a lot for myself and my country and this is the right time for me to hang up my boots.”
The 36-year-old, who said he will miss the pitch, the fans and the pressure before a match, is yet to decide what next for him after quitting the pitch.
“I haven’t decided what I want to do next. My main focus now is to be with my family and prepare myself to study for the A licence coaching course,” Kallon said. He has already secured a Uefa and Confederation of African Football B licences certificate and briefly served as Sierra Leone U-17 coach in 2014.
Kallon made his debut for Leone Stars against The Gambia at age 15 in 1995 in the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
At the African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa the following year, Kallon became the tournament’s youngest player at age 16 and scored the winning goal for Sierra Leone in a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso.
The highlights of his club career include the 2001-02 season at Inter Milan where he scored nine goals in 29 matches, becoming the team’s second top goal scorer of the season.
His only silverware came in 2005 when he helped Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad to win the 2005 AFC Champions League, where he was top scorer of the competition.
In 2013, Kallon made a bid to become President of the Sierra Leone Football Association but was disqualified from contesting.