Estonian NT first-choice goalkeeper unexpectedly retires from pro football

Sergei Lepmets
Sergei Lepmets Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Sergei Lepmets, the first-choice goalkeeper of FCI Levadia and the Estonian national football team, on Monday called it quits at the age of 33.

"I am tired of professional football and I don't like the conditions offered by the club," Lepmets told ERR's online news in Russian.

"During the emergency situation I found a good job and the club was opposed to me combining football and other employment. I have to think of my future and there's nothing to do when I cannot do two things at the same time," Lepmets, who found employment at the Municipal Police Department of Tallinn, said.

"I will be a substitute at the Tuesday's league match against Tallinna JK Legion. I plan to continue playing for the club's second team," the keeper said.

Lepmets contemplated retiring back in 2012, after an incident at a Romanian nightclub which resulted in him breaking his ankle and being released from the Romanian club Concordia Chiajna. He signed with Levadia in 2016 and was called up to the national team in 2018. He became the first-choice goalkeeper last year, when he started in all eight European Championship Qualifying games.

"I won't change my mind anymore. Of course I planned on playing for the national team this year, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, we currently have no matches planned. I think we won't have a lack of goalkeepers next year, either. Matvei Igonen will be older and more confident, Karl Jakob Hein trains at Arsenal," the 33-year-old added.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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