On January 3, 2013, Ryan Nelsen and his Queens Park Rangers teammates had plenty of reason to celebrate.
Visiting an English Premier League title-contending Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, Nelsen's QPR side put a major dent into their hosts' title prospects with a 1-0 away victory.
For a QPR side fighting for survival in the competition, it was a milestone victory. But while his teammates celebrated accordingly in the sheds after the match, Nelsen had other things on his mind.
"I played pretty well in the game and walked off, sat in the locker room and everybody was celebrating. We were in the battle for relegation, so everyone was having a great time celebrating, and I can remember just sitting there not being bothered," Nelsen told Newstalk ZB's Jason Pine.
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"This was not me. If anyone knows me, I quite enjoy winning, but that – I just sat there. All I wanted to do was be home with the family, home with kids; I just didn't care in a way. It was like a punch to the face – it was a real eye opener."
The club offered Nelsen a two-year contract extension to remain with them, but with almost 200 games of Premier League experience between Blackburn, Tottenham and QPR, Nelsen knew it was time to hang up his boots. Instead, he took up a management role with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer, leaving QPR before the end of the EPL season.
QPR were eventually relegated to the Championship at the end of the campaign, winning just four of their 38 fixtures.
Nelsen, who led the All Whites on their unbeaten run in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, said he had no regrets about ending his playing days when he did.
"You miss the banter and the camaraderie…you miss it terribly. But I only missed it really terribly when I actually couldn't do it, like, when I got a bit fatter and at 38, a bit older and grey-haired, now you can't actually do it even if you wanted to.
"Then you wonder 'why didn't I keep playing?' But I always go back to that game, in the locker room at Stamford Bridge. It wasn't a low moment, but I was just done.
"It was just the right time. But god, I miss so many things about it."