Neto announced his retirement from the sport on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. The 34-year-old tried to recover for two years after the accident that killed 71 people in Colombia and returned to training in March. But in an interview he said his pains were too intense to play again. Photo: Leo Correa/AP Photo

BOGOTA  Chapecoense defender Neto, who survived the 2016 plane crash that killed most of his fellow players, has announced his retirement.

"My body couldn't take it anymore. The pains were greater than the pleasure," the Brazilian footballer told broadcaster Globo on Friday.

He said he had no pain in his daily life, but that he suffered intense knee and back pain during high-level training.

The 34-year-old is one of the six survivors of the accident, which occurred when the plane taking the team to the Copa Sudamericana finals in Medellin crashed near the Colombian city in November 2016.

The 71 victims included almost the entire team as well as trainers and journalists.

Neto had returned to the football field after a long rehabilitation process. "I now agree with the doctors and the club. I wanted to say goodbye, a game, but I chose not to."