Kakha Kaladze will quit football at the end of the season and pursue a career in politics instead, the Georgian revealed Saturday.
The 34-year-old made his name during a nine-year spell at AC Milan before finishing his career at Genoa.
He will play his last match against Palermo on Sunday as Genoa look to get the point they need to ensure they avoid relegation to Serie B.
"Today is a very important and emotional day for me as after 18 years I'm retiring," said Kaladze.
"Part of me is disappointed but I thank everyone, Genoa, Milan, the fans, my team-mates, the opponents.
"I'm emotional because I've decided to go into politics, that will be the most important match of my life, for the liberty and democracy of my country, Georgia.
"I was born in Georgia, it's where my heart beats and my dream is for my children to grow up in a free and democratic country, a country that has the freedom to stay in Europe and NATO."
Kaladze started his career in 1993 with the biggest club in his homeland, Dinamo Tbilisi before moving to Dynamo Kiev in 1998.
From there he moved to Milan in 2001 and enjoyed one of the best spells in the club's history.
He won the Champions League twice with Milan and added the Serie A crown in 2004.
He had already won five titles in Georgia and three in Ukraine and was named Georgian player of the year five times.