Sydney Roosters veteran finally walking away from the game after a stunning career.
One of the greatest modern fullbacks of rugby league will no longer be a part of the game after this season with Sydney Roosters star Anthony Minichiello announcing he will retire at the end of this year.
Minichiello, 34, made the emotional announcement at Roosters headquarters, surrounded by team-mates, coaching staff and family.
The veteran fullback, has decided to call time after 15 seasons in which he became one of the biggest names and one of the most popular personalities in the game.
Minichiello, who became a father for the first time at the end of last year when his wife, Terry Biviano gave birth to baby daughter Azura, will retire as one of the Roosters greatest ever players.
Coach Trent Robinson said Minichiello’s legacy will see him go down in Roosters’ history as “one of the greatest.”
The man himself said he will be glad to free of the burden of playing, for now, as he looks forward to enjoying his new family.
“I’m very comfortable with my decision, this is a massive weight off my shoulder,” he said.
— Sydney Roosters (@sydneyroosters) August 4, 2014
He has currently played 294 games for the Roosters, the second most of all-time behind Luke Ricketson (301).
Assuming he avoids injury, Minichiello should pass the 300-game milestone in week one of the finals.
Minichiello debuted against the Bulldogs in round 4 of the 2000 season and retires having achieved almost everything the game has to offer including the Golden Boot in 2005 as the International Player of the Year.
He has played in an astonishing six grand finals and is a chance of playing in a seventh if the Roosters can replicate their 2013 performance.
By the end of 2004 Minichiello had already played in four grand finals but only tasted success in the 2002 decider against the Warriors. The losses coming against the Broncos (2000), the Panthers (2003) and Bulldogs (2004).