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Bendtner ponders retirement after release by Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Nicklas Bendtner’s colorful and much-traveled soccer career could be coming to an end after the Danish striker was told by his latest club that he was being released after just four months.

Bendtner did not do enough to convince FC Copenhagen to give him a longer contract after scoring just one goal in nine appearances for the Danish team after joining on a short-term deal in September. It has led the 31-year-old Bendtner to ponder retirement.

“Now I want to think about my future,” he said, “and think carefully about whether I should try a new adventure in the football world or stop and start some new adventures in life." One of Denmark’s most famous soccer players of this generation, Bendtner is as well-known for his off-field indiscretions.

Just last year, he was sentenced to 50 days in jail for breaking the jaw of a taxi driver. He served the sentence at home with an electronic tag around his ankle. He was fined for drunk driving and going against a one-way street in downtown Copenhagen in an incident in 2013.

Aside from playing for Arsenal and Juventus, Bendtner is as well known for getting banned for one match and fined for flashing the waistband of his underpants — which were sponsored by a bookmaker — while celebrating a goal at the European Championship in 2012.

Bendtner scored 30 goals in 81 appearances for Denmark after making his debut in 2006. He was at Arsenal from 2005-14, during which time he spent a year on loan at Juve, before playing for Wolfsburg in Germany, Nottingham Forest back in England, and Rosenborg in Norway.

The move to Copenhagen sparked huge interest in Denmark, with coach Stale Solbakken saying it went “wild” at the club following Bendtner’s arrival because of the striker’s “cult-hero status.” “Nicklas came as a friend of the house and he will be that in the future as well,” Solbakken said. “He has had a great career.”

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