Ruud van Nistelrooy has revealed he has retired from professional football, with the former Manchester United star hanging up the boots for the final time at 35 years of age.

Van Nistelrooy helped Malaga get into the Champions League next season, but the striker won't take part in the tournament, admitting that he has reached his limitations in the game and is ready to move on to other projects.

"Yesterday was my final game as a professional footballer," he said in a statement. "I wanted to play in the Champions League, but it is the moment to leave.

"I have arrived at my physical limit and I can't play at the maximum level. I couldn't have had a better send-off than this.

"I feel happy that I am the one taking this decision. I would like to thank Malaga, the technical and medical staff for an unforgettable year.

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy starred for Manchester United for five seasons.

"I am proud to have won collective and individual titles, but my greatest satisfaction was to be able to work day after day, year after year."

After spending time with clubs Den Bosch, Heerenveen and PSV Eindhoven, van Nistelrooy made the move to United in 2001. While there, he won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield, and was named the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year twice.

He was also United's all time European record goalscorer, and netted 150 goals in 219 games for the Red Devils, but after suffering from limited game time he made the move to Real Madrid in 2006.

Two La Liga trophies and the Supercopa de Espana followed, but the Netherlands international suffered from ongoing injuries, and a tenure at Hamburg followed in 2010-2011.

After returning to newly bought-out Malaga in the 2011 summer, he has now admitted that he can't continue, and will now move on to life post-football. But English football fans will always view the hitman as a favourite for his gallant performances for United.