Malta Under-21 midfielder Michele Sansone announced he was taking a break from competitive football on Monday just a year after joining Valletta FC.
In an open letter on his socials, the 24-year-old said he would be focusing on his career change after years of thinking.
“Today a new chapter starts in my life as I start my job at Press Enter Group,” the letter read, “I’d like to start off by thanking Valletta Football Club for being so respectful and understanding and thank them for the short time I spent at the club. The warmth from committee to staff to the players is something I will never forget.”
“After years of thinking I have come to a decision for a career change and I have decided that for the time being to call a pause on my football career and focus on other things. It hasn’t been an easy decision and after many talks with friends, family, and teammates who rightly so had their own opinions but also respected my decision, it was time for me to take the opportunity to explore other things in life and start this new adventure which I am really looking forward to with great enthusiasm and motivation.”
Sansone, who played no less than 96 matches in the BOV Premier League on the books of Sliema Wanderers and Valletta, said that football had taken a toll both mentally and physically while troubling him financially.
“Football, unfortunately, in Malta isn’t as plain sailing as most might think, and even though some think we have it good it takes a great toll mentally and physically especially from a financial point of view for obvious reasons which most clubs pass through,” he said.
“This wasn’t the reason for me to take such a decision, but it obviously added to the fact that I was fed up and lost the fire and passion for the game. I don’t believe in doing something your heart isn’t in and even though people may not understand my decision, I know what I feel at the end of the day.”
Sansone played for the Malta Under-21s 14 times throughout his career, after having been part of the Under-17s and Under-19s before that.
“I would like to thank all coaches, staff, teammates, committee and presidents from all clubs for creating lifetime relationships and obviously unforgettable memories being it through the happy times or tough and hard times,” he said.
“I have learnt a lot from the game and it also helped me grow as a person! Maybe this isn’t the end of my football career but as for now it’s a goodbye and a see you later!”
While the player has confirmed his way forward, despite still having two years left on his contract with the capital club, Valletta are yet to comment as they look towards the new season.