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Matteo Minozzi announces immediate retirement aged 27

By Josh Raisey
Italy's Matteo Minozzi. (Getty)

Italy and Benetton fullback Matteo Minozzi has announced his immediate retirement from rugby aged just 27.

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The 24-cap international was once one of the rising stars of Italian rugby, but has been ravaged by injuries since making his debut in 2017. He finished his international career with an impressive eleven tries- a strike rate of almost a try every two games.

The back three player spent three years at Wasps before joining Benetton in 2022 following the demise of the Gallagher Premiership outfit. A string of injuries since his return to Italy meant he was only able to represent his new club just six times.

In a statement shared by Benetton, the Italian said that his injuries have prevented him from being the player he was.

Minozzi said he plans to open a multi-sports centre that focuses on padel.

“My adventure at Benetton Rugby comes to an end,” he said in a statement (translated by Google).

“A club that I would like to thank for having extended its hand to me in times of need as I was coming off some injuries and the failure of Wasps. Unfortunately, this year and a half has not gone the way both parties wanted it to go. I was never able to get back into shape or at least be the player I was and this led me to only make six appearances with this shirt.

“So, as the months passed I realised that the time had come to start planning my post-rugby future. We discussed it with the company and by mutual agreement we decided to terminate our relationship.

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“I will open a multi-sports centre that focuses on padel: another great passion of mine. In thanking all those who have been close to me over the years, I wish the club the best and I look forward to seeing you in my new centre which I will inaugurate in the spring.”

Benetton director of rugby Antonio Pavanello added: “When a player communicates that he prefers to stop playing to start thinking about a future away from rugby, it is clearly something that always strikes us.

“At the same time it must make us reflect on how important it is to create your own post-career despite continuing to play.

“In addition to being a great player, even though in the last period he was unable to reach the standards required by us and by himself, Matteo managed to think about the future and this must be a lesson for everyone and therefore he deserves our compliments.

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“On behalf of the entire club, we wish Minozzi the best of luck and that this activity can guarantee him a wonderful future” the words of Antonio Pavanello, general director of the Lions.”

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