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World Cup winner Taffarel retires

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MILAN, Italy (Reuters) -- Claudio Taffarel, Brazil's World Cup winning goalkeeper in 1994, has announced his retirement at the age of 37.

Taffarel, who played in Europe for Italian clubs Parma and Reggiana and Turkish side Galatasaray, was offered a one-year deal by Serie A club Empoli but decided to quit.

"I don't want to continue playing, I am quitting. I am doing this above all for my children," he said.

"I am certainly leaving football but I'd like to stay in Parma and I'd like to open a restaurant here," added the keeper.

Taffarel, out of contract after leaving Parma at the end of last season, had originally agreed to join Empoli but said he had a last minute rethink after his car broke down as he set off to sign a contract.

"I simply realised then that it wasn't what I wanted. I turned it down because it didn't feel right," said Taffarel.

Taffarel was a hero for Brazil when they won the 1994 World Cup final against Italy in the USA on penalties.

The keeper saved a penalty in the shoot-out from Daniele Massaro before Roberto Baggio struck his spot kick over the bar to hand Brazil the title.

Four years later he was in goal as Brazil lost in the 1998 World Cup final to hosts France.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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