Tsiartas, a Euro 2004 contributor, retires

Stylish midfielder Vassilis Tsiartas, whose career peaked with Greece’s Euro 2004 soccer triumph, announced his retirement yesterday. The 35-year-old, renowned for his exceptional left-footed, long-range passing ability and curled free kicks around defensive walls, emerged late in 1992 when he joined AEK for his first of two tenures, winning two league titles and a Greek Cup. Following a four-year spell with the Athens club, Tsiartas moved to Spain’s Seville for another four fruitful years, between 1996 and 2000, before returning to AEK. A brief spell with Cologne in Germany’s second division ensued before Tsiartas returned to Greece to join the second division’s Ethnikos, his last club.