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Did Alessandro Nesta just announce his retirement?

Aleesandro Nesta

Former Milan defender Alessandro Nesta stretches during his first soccer practice after signing with the Montreal Impact, Friday, July 6, 2012, in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)

AP

Montreal Impact defensive stalwart Alessandro Nesta has told the BBC that will go into coaching at the end of Major League Soccer’s season. So … is that a backhanded announcement or retirement?

What the BBC said via Twitter:

Nesta tweet

Not that it would surprise anyone. Nesta is 37, and suspicion ran high 14 months ago, as one of the venerable institutions of Italian defensive excellence completed a 13th season at AC Milan, that he would retire at that point. Instead, Nesta announced a move to Montreal.

Here, he has mostly been a joy to watch, a real student of the game who can generally stay out of trouble through shrewd reading of the game. He can be beaten, however, when isolated one-on-one, the pure foot speed not being what it once was.