Genoa defender Kakha Kaladze has announced his retirement from football, as he will go into politics in Georgia.
“I am moved to tell you that after 18 years of football I’ve decided to retire,” said the 34-year-old.
“I must thank Genoa, Milan, the fans and all of my teammates. I will begin a new adventure, as I have decided to go into politics. I want to fight for liberty and democracy in Georgia.
“I dream of a Georgia in which my children can grow in freedom. I want my country to become part of the EU and of NATO.”
Politics are very close to Kaladze’s heart and he already has experience of the worst aspects of Georgian life.
In 2001 his brother Levan, a medical student, was kidnapped and a ransom requested, but he was found dead in 2006.
Kaladze is a FIFA ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages, founded a foundation of charitable works that raised €50,000 for South Ossetian refugees during the conflict with Russia and also owns a restaurant in Milan.