ALBION have lost their most accomplished player with the retirement of Mauricio Taricco.

That is the tribute paid by manager Gus Poyet to his assistant now that Taricco, 38, has hung up his boots, this time for good.

The Argentinian defender’s decision to call it a day, revealed exclusively on The Argus website on Saturday afternoon, comes almost seven years after he first quit the English game.

Taricco came out of retirement to start playing again for the Seagulls last season but lasted only an hour at right-back in his first outing since January against Crystal Palace at The Amex last week.

Poyet’s former Tooetnham team-mate did not feature in the squad at his old club Ipswich on Saturday but received a warm ovation from the Portman Road crowd before the game.

Poyet told The Argus: “When he was 31 or 32 he always had problems with cramp and it took a while for it to go away.

“Now at 38 it is not going to be easy for him. If he could last for 90 minutes he would be first choice, probably our best player, but he can’t so he is not going to play.

“He is different to the rest, because he understands the game and passes the ball to you where you want it. He knows when to foul and when not to, when to be aggressive, because he is a Premiership player and that is why, with all respect to the rest, he is better than all of them."

Taricco will now concentrate solely on his role as Poyet’s No. 2 after the pair signed new five-year contracts ahead of the Ipswich match.

Poyet said: “We are totally different, because he is quiet and we analyse the game in a different way. He is always honest with me and says what he thinks, so it’s good to have him here.”