Former starting quarterback Eli Manning announced his retirement Thursday after spending the last 16 years as a member of the New York Giants. In his historic career, the 39-year-old compiled 366 touchdown passes and 57,023 passing yards, both of which are franchise bests.

Giants’ fans will never forget the two Super Bowl wins against the Patriots in 2008 and 2012. Underdogs in both games, Manning overcame the odds and became only the fifth player in NFL history to be named Super Bowl MVP in multiple games.

“This sport has very few real farewells,” Manning said at the podium inside the Giants’ practice facility during Friday’s retirement press conference. “It’s impossible to explain the satisfaction, and actually the joy I’ve experienced being a Giant. From the very first moment, I did it my way. I couldn’t be someone other than who I am. Undoubtedly I would’ve made the fans, the media and even the front office more comfortable if I was a more rah-rah guy. But that’s not me. Ultimately I choose to believe that my teammates and the fans learned to appreciate that. They knew what they got was pure unadulterated Eli.”

Giants co-owner John Mara told the New York Post that Manning’ will be inducted into the Ring of Honor next season and his jersey will be retired.

“This is certainly a day of very mixed emotions for us,” Mara said. “It’s sad in one sense because we’re seeing the end of an incredible playing career and saying goodbye to someone who has been everything you could ask a player to be both on and off the field for the last 16 years. Yet we’re also very happy to that we get to be here to celebrate that incredible career and we’re also able to witness one of the greatest players in franchise history be able to leave the game on his own terms, having played his whole career with the Giants, something that doesn’t always happen in this business. If anybody deserved that opportunity it’s Eli Manning. The last 16 years Eli has meant so much to all of us here with the giants and our fans. We all know about the two Super Bowl MVPs and all of the great performances on the field, but just as important was the way he conducted himself on and off the field as the consummate professional, always with dignity always with class.”

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