Former Salford prop Olsi Krasniqi has announced his retirement from rugby league due to a brain injury.
The 29-year-old Albanian has made more than 200 career appearances for London Broncos, Salford and London Broncos.
Krasniqi says he has taken the decision to step away from playing due to concussions he has suffered.
Olsi Krasniqi announces retirement with heartfelt message
He posted on Instagram: “The time has come for me to finally announce my retirement from rugby league.
“Unfortunately, throughout my career I’ve sustained a number of concussions and during the first game of the 2021 season I suffered a severe one that took me months to recover from. The rehab didn’t go quite as well as I would have hoped. Many of the symptoms have lingered for quite a while now, so the decision was made to stop and give this injury the proper time to heal.
“Being a professional athlete has been a massive part of my identity for the past 12 years. It was a difficult situation to come to terms with but for my health it is the right one.
“Even though injuries are part and parcel of the sport that we participate in, I never envisaged that I’d have to stop playing at 28 because of a brain injury. I love this game and have loved the journey but the consequences of a lot of bad practices preached within the sport and admittedly many of my own mistakes have all brought me to the position I am today. But that is a story I’ll go into another day.
“Moving forward I will be doing everything I can to help educate. I will pass on my experiences not only to current players but also to the kids who are just beginning their journey. Also, to their families so they fully understand concussions and hopefully become more pro-active in their own treatment and recovery.”
Grateful for the opportunity
He added: “Albeit with some mixed emotions, I leave the game with so many fond memories. I gained experiences that have shaped me into the man I am today. I’ve made lifelong friends and formed bonds that can never be replaced.
“I got to play in some awesome stadiums and see parts of the world I may never have had the opportunity to do so. I have gained skills and good habits that’ll keep me in good stead for the rest of my life that I’ll pass on to my children. For that, I am extremely grateful I got to play this game and at the highest level for so long.”