Image source – Tsutomu Takasu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Like every year, several great players have announced their retirements in the 2020-21 season, like Wayne Rooney or Wes Morgan. While other older players still haven’t decided about their future including Juventus legends Buffon and Chiellini. Even though their contracts are running out at the end of the season. Let’s see all the top players retiring in 2021 with some possible further players also finishing their careers this summer.
Reaching the age of 35 also meant the end of a football career a few years ago. But these days more and more players decide to stay in football for a longer period, even close to the age of 40. Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is 39 at the moment, but is looking to stay at AC Milan for one more season. Even Cristiano Ronaldo is already 36, but the Portuguese star hasn’t mentioned anything about retiring yet. But we already know about some other great players who have announced their retirement this season. While other players in our list can follow their examples this summer.
Wayne Rooney is in the top players retiring in 2021
The 35-year-old Wayne Rooney has already been taking a semi-coach position at the beginning of the season at his current club, Derby County. The former Manchester United and Everton player joined the club from Los Angeles Galaxy last year to end his career back in the UK. Rooney only played 10 games this season after focusing on his coaching job. In January he announced his retirement and his appointment as the permanent manager of Derby. The record goalscorer of the English national team will surely support the team in the Euro2020. Where online sportsbooks in the UK mention England in the top favorites with the odds of 6.00.
Wes Morgan played his last game last weekend
Staying in the UK we also have 37-year-old Leicester City captain Wes Morgan in top players retiring in 2021. The Jamaican defender spent 9 years at the Foxes where he soon became the team captain as well. He won the Premier League title in 2016 with the club. And became the first Jamaican player to score a goal in the UEFA Champions League. Morgan had 323 appearances in Leicester and scored 14 goals for the team. He had a key role in the team’s success in all tournaments. Including the FA Cup final two weeks ago where Leicester beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the cup for the first time. The Blues can still win the Champions League this weekend. With online gambling sites in the UK offering the odds of 4.20 for their victory against City.
Javier Mascherano has already retired, Carlos Tevez might stay another year
The former West Ham, Liverpool and Barcelona player Javier Mascherano finished his career at the end of last year, at the age of 36. The Argentine centre-back returned home in 2020 and played his last season at Estudiantes. Mascherano won five La Liga and two Champions League titles with Barcelona. While he was also a member of the Argentine national team which finished as a runner-up in the 2014 World Cup. Carlos Tevez didn’t play in that team but scored two goals in the previous World Cup. He also returned back to Argentina in 2018 after playing for Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus before. Tevez was mentioning his possible retirement this season. But after losing the 2021 Copa Libertadores final with his team, Boca Juniors, he might stay another year at the club.
Juventus pair might retire this season as well
Two legendary players of Juventus and the Italian national team, Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini are likely to retire this year as well. Buffon is already 43 years old. But he still proved his amazing skills in the 2021 Coppa Italia final against Atalanta a few weeks ago. His contract will expire though this June and it’s not likely to be extended any more. The brilliant goalkeeper has had a magnificent career with 10 Serie A titles and winning the 2006 World Cup with Italy. Giorgio Chiellini was his teammate at both teams achieving similar successes. He took over the captaincy at the Italian team from Buffon where he is still playing. This summer’s European Championship might be his last action as a player after his contract also expires with Juventus.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still unbelievable
Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is almost 40 but he doesn’t think about retiring yet. His decision is totally proved by his performance. Even though this year he was struggling more with injuries. But Ibra still scored 17 goals in 27 appearances this season for his current team, AC Milan. The club extended his contract for one more year, so we are likely to see him next season again. But he won’t play for the Swedish team in the Euro2020 in spite of his recall due to another injury. A long-lasting recovery might be the only reason for his retirement but his strength and top physical condition will surely help him to come back again.
Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben can also retire this summer
Once both players were key members of Bayern Munich, now they can retire at the same time. Ribery joined Italian side Fiorentina in 2019 after leaving Bayern. He has been playing at the club ever since. The 37-year-old French midfielder made 28 appearances this season, scoring only two goals. His contract expires this summer and it might not be extended by the club. Ribery retired from international football quite early, in 2014 due to personal reasons. His former teammate at Bayern, Arjen Robben has already retired once, in 2019 but returned to football last year. He is the captain of Eredivisie side FC Groningen, the team where he started his career. He only had 7 appearances though at the club which might be his last actions as a player.