National Football League quarterback Peyton Manning has decided to go out on top after 18 seasons, announcing his retirement just one month after he helped the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl.
Manning, 39, was extremely emotional at a Monday afternoon news conference, reminiscing about his career, first with the Indianapolis Colts and then with the Broncos.
He praised teammates and coaches he has played with and also talked about some of the things he will miss, including "Battles against players such as John Lynch and Troy Polamalu," "Going against coaches like Bill Belichick and Jeff Fisher, Rex Ryan," "Handshakes with Tom Brady" and "The fans."
Despite winning the Super Bowl in February, Manning had one of this worst seasons as an NFL quarterback, throwing just nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 10 regular season games. He missed several games due to a foot injury which affected his ability to throw the ball.
He played with the Broncos for four seasons, leading the team to two Super Bowl appearances. But the majority of his career was spent with the Indianapolis Colts, who drafted him number one overall in 1998.
Colts were a perennial playoff team with Manning at the helm and they won the Super Bowl in 2006. Manning also led the team to the Super Bowl in 2009, but ended up losing to the New Orleans Saints.
A series of neck surgeries sidelined Manning for the entire 2011 season and he was eventually released by the Colts. He resurrected his career when he signed with Denver.
Manning retires as the all time leader in regular season touchdown passes (539) and yards (71,940). He won the NFL's Most Valuable Player five times and is the only quarterback to lead two different franchises to Super Bowl championships.