Players who retired in 2022
Beware, there are too many legends
The former captain of Newcastle in 2016 left to finish playing at home at San Lorenzo, where he ran for 5 years and was going to end his career at 38. But the love of football outweighed and Kolochchini played a season in Aldosivi. 24 matches and the Olympic champion in the Argentina national team announced his retirement from football in early January. At the moment, he is already working as a coach for the Venezuelan youth team.
The midfielder with an amazing shot ended his career beautifully – in his last match for his native Newell’s Old Boys, he scored the winning goal, and a couple of days later announced his retirement, shortly before his 41st birthday. Rodriguez was remembered for his performances for Atletico and Liverpool, and also traveled with the Argentina national team to 3 world championships and became the silver medalist of the World Cup in Brazil.
The former Dutch midfielder announced his retirement at just 30 years old. Propper was often injured at the end of the period at Brighton and the return to PSV did not bring him joy – Davy received minor injuries every month.
“It was unbearable to constantly keep myself in good shape in order to meet the requirements of a too tight football schedule. It’s incredibly difficult right now because of the bloated schedule.”
Propper played 16 matches for PSV in half a season, but by January he realized that he had had enough and hung up his boots.
The Manchester United graduate spent almost his entire adult career at Stoke City, where he became a legend and captain. In February 2021, Shawcross moved overseas to David Beckham’s Miami, where he played only 12 matches and announced his retirement in February. Since then, he has been an assistant coach of the Miami Farm Club. The defender has one match for the England national team – he entered the field 16 minutes before the end of the famous match against Sweden, when Ibrahimovic designed poker.
In mid-January, news broke out – Laurent Koscielny was stripped of the captain’s armband and expelled from Bordeaux. The defender and several other players were found to be the main culprits in the unenviable position of the Girondins. Two weeks later, Koscielny announced his retirement from football, but Bordeaux were relegated anyway and spend this season in the second division.
The Celtic legend (14 years and 611 caps) moved to Aberdeen in the summer of 2021 as a player-manager. The 10-time Scottish champion was constantly on the field and managed to play 33 matches for the new team, but in March the head coach of the Dons was fired and Brown left the team after him. Since the beginning of this season, he has been the head coach of the English Fleetwood, with whom he is in 16th place in the third English division.
The Olympic champion in the Argentina national team ended his career only this year. D’Alessandro made his debut for River Plate back in 1998, and in Europe he was marked by games for Wolfsburg, Portsmouth and Zaragoza. But the main club of his life was the Brazilian Internacional, to which the Argentine devoted 12 years. A year ago, D’Alessandro went to Nacional to become the champion of Uruguay, but he wanted to finish in the Internacional that became his native. On April 17, two days after his 41st birthday, Andrés started the match against Fortaleza and scored the goal that helped Internacional win. Immediately after the end of the match, the Argentine playmaker announced his retirement.
Tevez played his last game for Boca back in May 2021, and the 38-year-old football player announced his retirement only a year later. The forward said he lost motivation after the death of his adoptive father. The footballer, famous for his violent temper, managed to become the champion of England with Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as win the Italian championship with Juventus. During his career, Tevez was the highest paid player in the world during his performances in China.
Defoe still waited for his first league title in his career and won the Scottish Championship at 38 years old. In January 2022, the striker returned to England, where he joined Sunderland. In the third English League, Defoe appeared on the field 7 times, but he never managed to excel. The ex-forward of the England national team did not want to torture himself further and hung up his boots in March.
The bronze medalist of the 2018 World Cup, six months after his success in Russia, left Tottenham and moved to work in the Chinese Guangzhou Fuli. A classy dribbler, the Dutch champion with AZ retired in February at the age of 34.
The FIFA legend, as the strongest man in the history of the game, finally played enough and ended his career at 40 years old. The striker traveled around the English dungeon to his heart’s content, and at the dawn of his career he even visited Lithuania. Now Akinfenwa plans to make his debut in professional wrestling.
The versatile midfielder, capable of playing at fullback, was tired of fighting injuries and ended his career at 32. Delph, who won the Premier League title twice with Manchester City, only made 11 appearances in his final season with Everton. The Leeds graduate also played for the England national team, with which he took part in the 2018 World Cup.
The bronze medalist of the 2014 World Cup as part of the Netherlands national team ended his career in his native Den Haag, where he managed to play only 16 matches in two years. The 33-year-old football player became the technical director of his native club, but left this position in November. Yanmat is remembered for his successful performances in the English Newcastle and Watford.
The champion of Russia in the “Zenith” and the champion of Europe in the composition of Portugal finally played enough. After adventures with the Rangers and Parma, Alves went to finish playing in the Greek Apollo from Smyrnis, where he hung up his boots at the age of 40. Since the summer he has been the technical director of the Greek AEK, where he played 18 years ago.
The last time the left-back of Borussia took to the field was back in 2020. Since then, knee problems have prevented him from playing. Schmelzer endured until the end of last season, but had to admit that his days in football were numbered. The defender spent his entire career at Borussia Dortmund and won the Bundesliga with it. And with the German national team he became the bronze medalist of Euro 2012
The grey-haired defender who dared to play for Lazio and Roma hung up his boots right after the end of last season. Kolarov played only 15 matches for Inter, but is the champion of Italy. Also, the best Serbian player of 2011 won the Premier League with Manchester City. Kolarov has already said that he is going to stay in football and will study to be a sports director and a scout.
The West Ham legend only had two brief absences early in his career – a month at Hull City and three months at Ipswich for experience. Noble made his debut for the Hammers in 2004 and won the Championship with the team and achieved promotion in the same season. This achievement is the only one in the career of the longtime West Ham captain, but he does not care – the fans adore him.
The Liverpool graduate burst into the ranks of the Merseysiders in a bright flash in 2011. For a while, right-hander John was even the main left-back due to his versatility. However, in 2014 he suffered a knee injury that put an end to the youngster’s career at Liverpool. Flanagan was treated a lot, went to the Rangers to Steven Gerrard, but he failed to prove himself there either. A move to Danish side Køge brought new injuries and the defender, who had one cap for England, decided to hang up his boots at the age of 29.
Pigtail hung up his boots at the age of 40 when he failed to help his Brescia reach Serie A, where Palacio spent the best years of his career and scored under a hundred goals. The silver medalist of the 2014 World Championship did not grieve for a long time after the end of his career and two days later he was playing basketball for a club from the Italian Serie D. And he even scored 14 points!
The author of the second oldest goal at the European Championships reached the age of 39 and decided to retire. The Macedonian was convinced of this by six months at Parma, where he scored one goal in 11 matches in Serie B. Pandev was part of the legendary Inter Mourinho, with whom he took the treble in 2010.
Another talent whose career was ruined by injuries. Wilshere was supposed to rock on the fields of Qatar, but he has not been a top football player for a long time. The midfielder complained that he could not explain to his daughter why he had been without a club for a long time. After leaving Bournemouth, the Danish Aarhus decided to shelter the Englishman. 14 games in half a season and Wilshere decided to end football and hang up his boots at the age of just 30. Now he coaches the Arsenal U-18 team.
Nacho Monreal suffered a knee injury back in August 2021 due to which he completely missed the 21/22 season. The player tried to return to the field, but in August of this year he decided not to take risks and ended his career at 36 years old. Montreal has won the FA Cup three times with Arsenal and has made 22 appearances for Spain. The defender’s last club was Real Sociedad.
A talented defender of the German national team and Bayern, whose career was ruined by a cross injury in 2012. The German was out of the game for almost 2 years and all the remaining time, after the injury, struggled with its consequences. Badstuber won 6 titles of the German Bundesliga and the Champions League with Bayern, became the bronze medalist of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. After Bayern, there were Stuttgart and Lucerne. After a season with the Swiss team, Badstuber finished at 33.
Another treble winner with Inter retired. Davide was a talented but traumatic defender. Santon spent most of his career in Serie A, but at the beginning of the 2000s he also appeared in the Premier League as part of Newcastle. In recent years, he was listed at Roma, but did not enter the field in the 21/22 season. After the end of the contract with the Wolves, he thought until September and decided to end his career.
The midfielder had a great period at Atletico, where he won the Spanish championship and reached the Champions League final, but turned sour on the bench of Barcelona. After a 2.5-year lease at Basaksehir, Turan did everything except play football: ran into referees, attacked journalists and singers, molested other people’s wives and asked to be shot. And he collected suspensions with suspended sentences. In 2020, Arda returned to Galatasaray, where he was already calmer. In September, the midfielder, who has exactly 100 caps for the Turkish national team, retired from football in September.
John Obi Mikel
Opornik spent 11 years at Chelsea and won everything with the Blues. After leaving the “aristocrats” camp, Mikel played out, mixing the retirement countries (China, Turkey, Kuwait) with the English Championship. Having played the season in Kuwait, the midfielder was without a club for a year and at the end of September announced that he was retiring.
Michel’s Chelsea partner was approached by Barcelona, but the midfielder chose the money and left for China at the age of 29. Ramirez won the Champions League and the Premier League, played 51 matches for Brazil, but due to an early departure to the East, does not seem to be fully realized. The midfielder announced his retirement only this fall, although he left Palmeiras back in 2020. Thus, Ramirez played his last match of his career at 33 years old.
Kwadwo Asamoah also spent more than a year without a club. Ganetz was an important part of the all-conquering Juventus, with whom he won 6 Italian championships. The transition from Juve to Inter did not bring joy to the sidekick, as well as six months in Cagliari. After a year without football, 33-year-old Asamoah decided to put an end to it.
“The ball stops, but the feelings inside me don’t. Thank you all for this wonderful adventure. Despite all the attempts made over the past three months, the pain in my knee only intensified, and the doctors made it clear that I would not be able to continue playing, ”the nine-time German champion with Bayern announced his retirement with these words. Ribéry had a truly great time at Bayern, taking 24 trophies in 12 years. Was close to winning the Ballon d’Or and feels he was unfairly ripped off. After Bayern, Ribery played in Italy for Fiorentina and Salernitana. Frank tried to return to the field, but played only one match this season due to a knee injury. In October, the Frenchman terminated his contract with Skates and ended his career at the age of 39.
The jet winger started at Leeds, but devoted most of his career to Tottenham – as much as 10 years. At the end of his career, Lennon developed mental health problems and even had to be treated for depression. After leaving Burnley, Lennon spent several months without the club and decided to hang up his boots in November. The midfielder traveled with England to the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.
An experienced defender could be useful to Monza, but managed to play only one match for her and broke his leg. Ranocchia, 34, decided not to wait for a tedious return to the field and decided to end his career, most of which he spent at Inter, where he waited for the title in 2021.
One of the best defenders of the generation promised that he would stop playing when he could not keep up the level of Barcelona. No sooner said than done. Xavi stopped putting Pique in the squad, and his performances in rare appearances on the field did not convince. Piqué said goodbye to the Barca fans on November 5, but three days later he was still on the bench and even managed to get a red card without going on the field. The world and European champion has become a legendary football player in the camp of Barcelona and we have no doubt that he will return as its future president.
The defender immediately won the Champions League with Chelsea and became an iconic player for the Blues for seven years. With the England team, Cahill went to the European Championship and two World Cups, and in Russia he finished fourth. After leaving Chelsea, he played two seasons at Crystal Palace and helped Bournemouth get promoted to the Premier League from the Championship. The Cherries did not offer Cahill a new contract, and he, after thinking until November, retired at almost 37 years old.
The good but unlucky striker got fed up with football and ended his career as his Miami side was eliminated from the MLS playoffs. Higuain scored a lot for Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus, but the ongoing stress did not allow him to prove himself in Milan and Chelsea. “In America, I finally felt like an ordinary person again.” It seems that the striker really enjoyed himself in the last two years and now he can take a break from the boring game.
Teammate Higuain did not enter the field for more than a year – the reason for this was poor form. Matuidi did not fit into the game concept of Phil Neville and just sat out the whole year until the end of the contract, being out of the application for the season. I can’t even believe that the once-strong midfielder of PSG and Juventus will end his career in this way. Yesterday, the world champion waited for the end of the employment contract and, with a clear conscience, announced his retirement.