Christophe Berra announces shock retirement as former Hearts and Scotland defender quits Raith Rovers

Christophe Berra has announced his retirement from professional football “with immediate effect” just 48 hours after turning out for Raith Rovers in a 3-0 defeat to Aberdeen.

Rovers confirmed on their website that the former Hearts, Wolves and Scotland centre-back has taken the “major decision” to quit the game at the age of 37 following discussions with his family and manager Ian Murray.

Berra had featured in all four of Raith’s Premier Sports Cup group matches and had recently been added to the coaching staff at the Championship club. His departure leaves a gaping hole in Rovers defence ahead of the new league season kicking off away at Cove Rangers this Saturday.

“This was far from an easy decision, but after thinking long and hard, together with the high standards that I set myself on a daily basis, I have decided that the time has come to hang up my boots," Berra said. “For the benefit of the team, I felt it was the right time to step aside and allow the club to bring in some new players to drive the team forward.

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"I have ambitions to return to football in the months ahead but for the time being, I will enjoy some quality time with my family. Last but not least, a huge thanks to the players, the manager, the staff and the club, I have enjoyed every minute being in your company, on and off the pitch and I wish you all the very best going forward. Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to all the Rovers fans who welcomed me to their club, it has been an honour and privilege. Thank you!”

Berra started his career at Hearts, where he spent six years mostly as captain before moving to Wolves in 2009. After four years at Molineux, three of which spent in the English Premier League, he moved to Ipswich Town, before returning to Hearts in 2017 for another four year stint.

He signed a pre-contract to join Raith before the start in of the 2021-22 season and went on to make 42 appearances for the Kirkcaldy side.

Raith boss Murray paid tribute to the defender, stating: “I’d like to thank Christophe, as during the short time we worked together. He has been a tremendous help to myself, the players and all the staff.

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Raith Rovers defender Christophe Berra has quit the club after announcing his retirement from professional football. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

"We respect and appreciate that Christophe feels it’s time to retire after a great career.”

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