|Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba [Photo:BBC]|
"While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for," said Muamba.
"I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members of the medical team who never gave up on me."
His retirement comes from the recommendation of his medical team, following extensive consultations with leading cardiologists both in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Muamba had travelled to Belgium earlier in the week to undergo minor heart surgery, which was said to have been routine and have no bearing on whether the player would return to action.
The news comes just six months after he suffered the cardiac arrest with doctors saying he was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes.
He was given 15 defibrillator shocks before his heart started beating again and he spent around four weeks in intensive care.
"Since suffering my heart attack and being discharged from hospital, I have remained utterly positive in the belief I could one day resume my playing career and play for Bolton Wanderers once again," said Muamba in a statement.
"As part of my on-going recovery, last week I travelled to Belgium to seek further medical advice from a leading cardiologist.
"But the news I received was obviously not what I had hoped it would be and it means I am now announcing my retirement from professional football."