Djibril Cisse retires due to injury; Valbuena regret over blackmail arrest

Former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse has announced that he has been forced to retire from football due to injury.

Cisse, 34, has been without a club since prematurely ending a short-team deal with a team in the French overseas department of Reunion last month.

A Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005, Cisse blamed injury for his decision to leave the Indian Ocean island.

On Monday the former Auxerre and Panathinaikos player confirmed his retirement, revealing that he would require a hip replacement in January.

Speaking on French TV programme J+1, Cisse broke down in tears as he was asked by his former coach at Auxerre, Guy Roux, if he would soon return to action.

"You have to know how to listen to your body from time to time," he said. "Today I can no longer play football at a high level, or even play football full stop."

Cisse scored over 250 goals in his 16-year career, including nine in 41 matches for France.

His progress was hampered by two major leg breaks, shortly after signing for Liverpool in 2004 and ahead of a move to Marseille in June 2006.

The former Sunderland, QPR and Lazio player featured as a substitute in eight league matches for Bastia last season before his contract expired in the summer.

Meanwhile, Lyon attacker Mathieu Valbuena has expressed his regret that former teammate Cisse was questioned by police as part of an investigation into blackmail.

Cisse was one of four men taken into custody last week as part of a criminal investigation into an attempt to extort money from the France international.

He was released without charge the same day and said he had been asked to give his version of events after warning the winger of a potential problem.

On Monday, Valbuena took to his social media accounts to apologise to his former Marseille and France teammate.

"I'm genuinely sorry that my friend Djibril Cisse was taken into custody lately," he wrote on Facebook. "From my point of view I have nothing to reproach Djibril for, who conducted himself as a friend by trying to help me.

"I have otherwise no declaration to make at this stage since the matter is in the process of being dealt with by police. I'd simply like to thank the police services for their efficient handling of the matter."

Reacting to Valbuena's comments on Monday evening, Cisse said he had "taken risks" for the player and was thankful for his support.

"I really like him," he told J+1 on Canal +. "I spent some great years with him at club and international level.

"I got a call so I just let him know because I don't want something bad to happen to someone that I like."

So far three people have been charged in connection with the case.