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Top Football Stars Who Retired In 2019

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Every year, players who have paid their dues succumb to their bodies and call it time on their careers, some fulfilled, some maybe not, some regarded as one of the finest to have ever graced the football pitch, some regarded as a decent professional.

Some hang their boots alongside medals and picture frames of nights that were glorious with trophies, some wish they had those, a few had statues to remember along with the name, some just have the name to ring on.

The reality is that nothing lasts forever, this year alone football fans have with teary eyes say goodbyes to their famous football stars, we may have seen the last of them on the pitch of play. we take a look at some top football stars who retired this year in no particular order.

1. Robin Van Persie
Nationality: Netherlands
Position: Striker

Robin Van Persie may not be a Dutch legend but sure he is one that never will be forgotten easily. His goal against Spain at the 2014 World Cup will stick to memories.

His former club sides won’t forget him as well, from Feyenoord to Arsenal and Manchester United where he won the EPL title, although injury blighted his early days at the North London club when he was fully fit he was too hot to handle.

No surprise as he won the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 Premier league golden boots. He also holds the record for Netherlands World Cup goals record finishing runner-up in 2010 to Spain and Third in Brazil four years later.

2. Xavi Hernandez
Nationality: Spain
Position: Midfielder

Xavi will definitely rank high among the most decorated players to have graced the game in terms of laurels and trophies won.

With Spain, he won the European championships in 2008 and 2012 as well as the FIFA World Cup in 2010. With Barcelona, he won the Spanish La Liga and the Uefa Champions league

He was also nominated for the Balon D’Or as a third-placed finalist three times.

3. Samuel Eto’o
Nationality: Cameroon
Position: Striker

Arguably the best African striker to have graced football, Eto’o featured for some of the best football club sides including Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Inter Milan winning the Champions League with Barca and Inter.

He had a wonderful national team career making his debut as a teenager and also won Olympic gold at Sydney 2000 as well as the African Cup of Nations and the African player of the year.

4. Fernando Torres
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Striker

Torres started his career at Athletico Madrid before a sojourn to England with Liverpool and Chelsea, he won the UEFA Champions League and Europa League with the Londoners

With the Spanish National Team, he won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 as well as the European Championships in 2008 and 2012. He ended his career at Japanese Clubside Sagan Tosu.

5. Arjen Robben
Nationality: Netherlands
Position: Winger

Robben played for some of the biggest teams in Europe, from Chelsea to Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. It was with the Bundesliga side that he was more successful. He won the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

In over 420 club matches in the span of his career, he scored 151 goals and although he was blighted with injuries he showed excellence anytime he was fit up to the extent that he has a route on the pitch named Robben’s street.

He played for the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and 2014 winning the Silver and Bronze respectively.

READ ALSO:  Top 10 African Midfielders Since 2016

6. Bastian Schweinsteiger
Nationality: Germany
Position: Midfielder

Schweinsteiger was a force in the midfield of Bayern Munich for a very long time before moving to Manchester United where he was a flop playing 18 games in total for the Red Devils.

He moved to the MLS with Chicago Fire making 85 appearances before calling it quit with the Americans and on his career. He made over 400 club appearances scoring 58 goals across the three clubs.

For Germany, he won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

7. Ashley Cole
Nationality: England
Position: Left Back

Ashley Cole played for two city rivals in Chelsea and Arsenal, It was with the Gunners that he started with in 1996 before getting embroiled win a transfer saga in 2006 before his move to Chelsea.

He won the English Premier League and the FA Cup with both sides in different periods before moving to AS Roma in Italy and also had a stint with LA Galaxy and Derby in the championships.

8. Tim Howard
Nationality: US
Position: Goalkeeper

After a spectacular World Cup in Russia last year where he recorded the highest number of saves in a single game by any goalkeeper in the game against Belgium in the round 16 with 15 saves.

He played for Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League, with Everton he had over 300 appearances and went back to USA MLS with Colorado Rapids.

10. Andrea Barzagli
Nationality: Italy
Position: Defender

Italian defender Barzagli spent 8 years at Juventus after moving there in 2011 and won the Serie A multiple times, Coppa Italia and also featured at the Uefa Champions final.

With Italy, he won the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and also played at the 2010 edition of the World Cup making 71 appearances in total for the Azzurri’s.

11: Youssi Benayoun
Nationality: Isreal
Position: Forward

Isreali forward Benayoun played with some of the biggest teams in England including Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal before a return to the Isreali League in 2014.

Despite the caliber of teams, he featured for he was only able to win the Uefa Europa League in 2013 and in over 550 Games he had 144 goals in total.

READ ALSO: Five Clubs Who Have Played Continental Competition As A Non-Top-Flight Team (Relegation Team)

12. Petr Cech
Nationality: Czech
Position: Goalkeeper

One of the best goalkeepers to have ever played football, Cech won almost everything available at club level especially with Chelsea where he was a Premier League champion and UEFA champions league and Europa League winner and considered as a legend.

He moved to Arsenal in 2015 and won the FA Cup and also featured in the Uefa Europa League final in 2019 against his former side.

 

 

 

 

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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on danycrusoe@gmail.com or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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