Chievo legend Sergio Pellissier admits a standing ovation from the Inter crowd at San Siro was “one of the greatest emotions I’ve ever experienced in this sport.”
The striker turned 40 last month and has announced he will retire at the end of the season.
He came off the bench during Chievo’s 2-0 defeat to Inter and his introduction was met with a spontaneous standing ovation.
“I really wasn’t expecting that. It was a moment that will live with me forever,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“My decision is definitive, it’s important to know when to say enough is enough. Although I had joked if I’d scored tonight, I would’ve played for another year!
“Maybe the crowd realised I gave everything I could to football and found my home at Chievo, a small town and small club, achieving great things together and beyond all expectations.
“It’s emotional to be at San Siro applauded by thousands and thousands of people who aren’t even your fans, it’s one of the greatest emotions I’ve ever experienced in this sport.”
Pellissier began his Chievo career in 2000 and was part of the side that took them to their first ever Serie A promotion in 2002-03, going on to represent the club 512 times with 139 goals.
“I believe you make choices in life. I got injured during my best period, and the team’s best period, so it was really tough to get back in shape. That’s when I realised the years take their toll just in terms of fitness.
“I can’t sit there and watch my team go down with so few victories, so few points, to lose games the way we did. I’ve been here for so many years and feel such affection for these club colours, it hurts me more than anyone.
“It’s only right that I leave now, because this is the end of an era and I wouldn’t want to start a new one knowing I couldn’t see it through to the end.
“It’s best that Chievo begin again with players who want to give everything to this club and get it back into Serie A.”
Pellissier was asked if he could remain at Chievo as their Coach next season.
“No, I don’t think I’m suited to the role! I’m not very good at telling people what to do and I know that I’m too instinctive. I don’t see myself being a Coach.”