Connect with us


Ex-Arsenal player plans to come out of retirement and play for 14th tier club

Ex-Arsenal player Eduardo remarkably plans to come out of retirement and play for 14th tier Kent based club Gillingham Town.

The 40 year old ex-Croatia international has represented his national side at the Euros and made appearances in the Champions League for a number of clubs, but these days is an ambassador for the Kent County League Division Three Central & East outfit.

He’s already invested “a small” amount of his own money into the club, as he has he talks of his and love desire to get involved with grassroots football in England.

He said to The Sun: “I love everything England has given me and I always wanted to support a grassroots club because of my background.”

He added: “I am a living example of the importance of grassroots football.

“My son is at Flamengo’s academy but I didn’t play for a big club in Brazil.

“In every community there are hidden gems like me and that’s why I was delighted to become ambassador for Gillingham Town and help them recruit sponsors.”

Eduardo regularly talks tactics with club coaches who he trusts to take the club forward.

He revealed: “We’ve even discussed registering me to play in the league.

“I want to play because even though I am retired, I still play football with my friends in Brazil.”

The fact he can still play football is down to the fantastic work of his Selly Oak surgeon after Eduardo suffered many a horror injury.

In February 2008, Birmingham defender Martin Taylor produced a “brutal” tackle which left him with a double broken leg and open dislocation of his left ankle, an injury he still to this day hasn’t watched back.

Eduardo says he holds no malice towards Taylor.

He said: “No, this is something that can happen in football, I was just very unlucky.

“Since then there have been other horrific injuries.

“But this is part of the job, it can happen to anyone and I will never hold any anger or grudge towards any player because that is not my character.”

He has however kept the boot, to motivated and inspire his 12-year-old son Matheus’ dream of following in his footsteps and play for Arsenal.

He said: “Because of the humidity in Brazil, the boots are falling apart. But I couldn’t throw them away.

“Although they have tragic memories they also have good ones, so they are framed alongside an Arsenal shirt and my individual awards in a memorabilia area at home.

“After a year’s rehab I wore those boots again in my comeback game — against Cardiff in the FA Cup — and scored two goals.”

His fibula now has a metal plate and the five pins in his ankle during an emergency operation at Birmingham’s Selly Oak Hospital remain even though doctors have told him he can have them removed.

He adds: “It was a brutal tackle. I cleared the ball and my standing foot was planted on the ground, supporting my body.

“That’s when the impact came. I fell to the ground and when I looked at my foot it was pointing sideways.

“I realised it was bad. I panicked, I was scared, as anyone would be when seeing your foot at a horrible angle.”

His fellow Arsenal teammates had been left in shock at seeing a bone sticking out of his sock with head physio Gary Lewin and his medics attending to him.

He goes on: “I felt a burning pain. But Gary gave me morphine to kill it. From then on I don’t remember too much.

“I do believe the foul was deliberate and the outcome could have been avoided. But only Taylor knows.”

Taylor sent an email Arsenal, with a welcome back to Eduardo as he took on Cardiff, and even told the defender had visited him while he was having surgery.

But Eduardo claims he still hasn’t had an apology from the player or from Birmingham.


*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Youth career
–1996 – CBF Nova Kennedy
1996–1998 – Bangu
1999–2001 – Dinamo Zagreb

2001–2007 – Dinamo Zagreb – 109 games (73 goals)
2001 → Croatia Sesvete (loan) – 5 games (2 goals)
2003 → Inter Zaprešić (loan) – 15 games (10 goals)
2007–2010 – Arsenal – 41 games (7 goals)
2010–2014 – Shakhtar Donetsk – 81 games (24 goals)
2014–2015 – Flamengo – 27 games (10 goals)
2015–2016 – Shakhtar Donetsk – 29 games (14 goals)
2017 – Atlético Paranaense – 2 games (0 goals)
2018 – Legia Warsaw – 10 games (0 goals)
Total – 319 games (140 goals)

2004–2005 – Croatia U21 – 12 games (8 goals)
2004–2014 – Croatia – 64 games (29 goals)


Dinamo Zagreb
Prva HNL: 2002–03, 2005–06, 2006–07
Croatian Cup: 2001–02, 2003–04, 2006–07
Croatian Super Cup: 2002, 2003, 2006

Shakhtar Donetsk
Ukrainian Premier League: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
Ukrainian Cup: 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2015–16
Ukrainian Super Cup: 2013, 2014, 2015

Legia Warsaw
Ekstraklasa: 2017–18
Polish Cup: 2017–18

SN Yellow Shirt Award: 2006, 2007
HNL’s Footballer of the Year: 2005–06, 2006–07
Croatian Footballer of the Year: 2006
Croatian First League top scorer: 2006–07
Football League Cup top scorer: 2007–08

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Arsenal