Sergio Aguero says he is “proud” of his career after accepting the “very difficult” reality of retiring from the sport to protect his health.
The 33-year-old sobbed while announcing the news on Wednesday, fewer than six months after joining Barcelona.
The former Manchester City striker was taken to hospital on 30 October after experiencing “chest discomfort” during a 1-1 draw with Alaves.
“The decision I have made, I have taken it for my health,” said Aguero.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was among a small crowd watching Aguero make the announcement next to the Nou Camp pitch.
Aguero, who ends his career with 427 goals in 786 games, took time to compose himself after crying at the start of the event and added: “This conference is to communicate that I have decided to stop playing football. It’s a very difficult moment.
“When they did the first physical test on me in the clinic, the medical staff called me to tell me there was a very big possibility that I wouldn’t be able to keep playing. From that point I was processing it all but it wasn’t easy. One of the doctors told me straight up, ‘that’s enough’.
“I want to tell everyone that I did everything possible. I dreamt about playing football since I was five years old and I first touched a ball. I never thought I would get to Europe, so I want to show my gratitude to everyone regardless of where I trained.
“I’m proud of the career I’ve had and am fortunate it is happening to me now rather than before. I don’t know what awaits me in the next life but I know there are a lot of people who love me and want the best for me.”