The Premier League legend, 43, has decided the time is right to hang up his gloves after an incredible 18 year spell in England, where he is regarded as one of the greats to have played between the sticks.
Friedel’s first spell in England came as a Newcastle United youth player where he did not make an appearance and then moved on to Danish side Brøndby IF before a move to Galatasaray S.K. in Turkey. He briefly returned to MLS with the Columbus Crew for a year before joining Liverpool in 1997 and has been in the Premier League since.
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Friedel is one of just five ‘keepers to have scored a Premier League goal. It came back in 2004 against Charlton during his time as Blackburn Rovers number one. The American fan-favourite bagged a 90th minute equaliser only to be picking the ball out of his own net minutes later to be denied true hero status. He won the 2001/02 League Cup with Rovers, which is the only piece of silverware he won during his time in England.Embed from Getty Images
The 43-year-old holds the record for the most consecutive Premier League appearances with 310 games between August 2004 and November 2012.
He is Tottenham Hotspur’s record holder of being their oldest player. His last league appearance for Spurs came back in 2013 as Hugo Lloris has become first-choice, with Michel Vorm backup.
Friedel made 82 appearances for the USMNT and spoke to Sky Sports about his time in England as he is set to move back home.Embed from Getty Images
“I always wanted to play as long as I could but there’s two things that go with that – one is physically being able to which I still am, two is mentally wanting to do it,” he said.
“I’ve loved living in England. Myself and my family have fallen in love with the place. My kids were born and raised here so moving to the United States is something completely different for them.
“I’m not moving back for the sole reason I am American. If the opportunities weren’t there and they weren’t so great I would have no problem living my life in England. It’s my home away from home.”
Friedel is Tottenham Hotspur’s Club Ambassador focusing on the USA, which will only bring Major League Soccer and the Premier League closer together.
We can expect to see Friedel back in England in the future as he has already tried his hand at punditry on a number of occasions. Football is saying goodbye to a true Premier League legend.
Which club did you enjoy seeing Brad Friedel at the most? Where does he rank among the Premier League’s greatest goalkeepers?