Martin Castrogiovanni has called time on his professional rugby career
His career spanned more than 15 years with him winning 119 Italy caps
The prop moved to Leicester in 2006 and spent seven years with the Aviva Premiership side
Italian prop Martin Castrogiovanni has announced his retirement from rugby after a successful career for club and country.
The 35-year-old won 119 caps for the Azzurri and is Italy’s second most-capped player behind Sergio Parisse.
Castrogiovanni said in a statement: “I want to thank the Italian Rugby Federation, and above all the Italian rugby fans and fans of the national team for the extraordinary affection they have always shown me.
“I will never forget the children’s enthusiasm in meetings with the players, and it is worth infinitely more than the trophies that are gathering dust in my house.
“I always tried to be myself, for better or for worse, and I hope that the Italian audience understood and appreciated it.
I would like to thank all the Italian rugby players, one by one, for making me feel one of them since the day I arrived in Italy 15 years ago.”
Castrogiovanni played for Calvisano before enjoying a long stint with Leicester Tigers where he won multiple Premiership titles. He then joined Toulon, winning two European Cups, before playing for Racing 92.
The entertaining character hung up his boots after participating in a special Sevens tournament for players weighing more than 100kg back in his native Argentina.