Former Swansea City and Brighton midfielder Andrea Orlandi has been forced to retire aged 34 after discovering he has heart disease.
The issue was detected in a recent medical for the player currently with Italian side Virtus Entella.
"I felt like this was coming after I had the medical but until it was made official I still had that glimmer of hope," he told Brighton's website.
"Sadly it is not safe for me to play on," he added.
"I was devastated when the doctor broke the news. However, I am coming to terms with it quite quickly and am so thankful to all the medical staff who have helped me.
"I could have had an operation to try and carry on playing, but at 34 it would have been risky and stupid to do so. I have to think about my future more than football now.
"The truth is I could have died during my career, so I must look at the bright side, that I am still here with my wife and kids and that I enjoyed many years playing the game I love."
Orlandi spent five seasons with Swansea, helping them to achieve promotion to the Premier League, before enjoying two years at Brighton.
He also represented Blackpool, Cypriot sides Anorthosis Famagusta and Apoel Nicosia and Italian clubs Novara Calcio and Virtus Entella as well as having a spell in India with Chennaiyin.