The passage of time stops for no mortal being and every footballer – even Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Cristiano Ronaldo – knows they cannot continue playing forever. So we created a list of 13 Big name players who have retired in 2022.
We’ve taken a look at 13 notable names and familiar faces who have decided to hang up their boots in 2022. So let us now take a look at 13 Big name players who have retired in 2022.
Wilshere’s decision to call it quits will be a bit of a gut punch for those that can recall him running rings around Xavi and Iniesta when he was a teenager. For a certain younger generation, he’ll be the first retired footballer they remember breaking through as a rising star.
The lengthy statement he published on Twitter is quite stirring. Bit dusty in here, isn’t it?
Defoe is absolutely loved up in Sunderland, as much for the goals he scored as the bond he forged with the community.
Unfortunately, his fairytale return to the Stadium of Light back in January didn’t quite turn out as planned. The 39-year-old only made seven appearances (two starts) and failed to score a goal, eventually calling it quits on his career a few weeks early as it became evident this was one job too far.
Still, Sunderland went up through the play-offs in the end, so all’s well that end’s well.
One of the most aesthetically pleasing midfielders in Premier League history, unfortunately injuries denied Dembele the chance to keep marauding around the pitch into his thirties.
He was only 31 when he left Tottenham for Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande in January 2019. Three years later he announced he was done, seeing out his contract and rejecting a renewal offer in order to spend more time with his family.
Get a few pints in any West Ham fan and get them onto the subject of Mark Noble and you’re certain to get an impassioned rant about what a disgrace it was that he never got an England cap.
One-club legends like this are a dying breed.
The Slovakian surprisingly only won one League Cup across his eight years of service to Liverpool, but he enjoyed something of a late-career swansong after departing Anfield for Besiktas back in 2016.
He went on to win the Turkish Super Lig title in the 2019-20 season – not with Besiktas, but with upstarts Istanbul Basaksehir – and bowed out earlier this year after captaining Spartak Trnava to the Slovak Cup.
The biggest – literally and figuratively – cult hero in Football League history, the one and only finally Adebayo Akinfenwa called it a day just days after his 40th birthday.
The Beast represented 14 different clubs and scored 233 goals in 794 appearances in a career that saw him start out back in 2001 at Lithusia outfit FK Atlantas, before playing in the Welsh Premier League with Barry Town and years of grafting away in the second, third and fourth tiers of the English league pyramid.
Fittingly enough, Wembley Stadium was the stage for his goodbye, albeit not quite as planned, a late substitute in the League One Play-Off final defeat to Sunderland.
One of the defining figures of Scottish football over the past couple of decades, Brown went on to make over 500 appearances in the Scottish Premiership, lifting 10 league titles and no fewer than a further 12 cups across 14 unforgettable seasons with Celtic.
“It’s a sad day to see him retire but he retires with a huge legacy behind him – as a football player, as a Celtic player, as a Celtic captain and a Celtic legend,” the club’s current captain Callum McGregor in a tribute video from the club.
“I wish him all the best in his next chapter but what a legacy he leaves behind.”
Having seen out the final year of his career as a player-coach at Aberdeen, Broony has since been announced as the manager of Fleetwood Town after announcing his retirement.
El Apache‘s rollercoaster footballer career looks set to continue, having been recently appointed as manager of Argentinian club Rosario Central only a matter of weeks after announcing his retirement.
Imagine the sheer fear of standing in a wall and seeing Kolarov standing over the ball, ready to take a free-kick.
Dozens of Serie A defenders have been spared that nightmare next season and beyond. The Serbian has called it a day at the age of 36 after making just three substitute appearances last season.
We wonder what he has planned for Christmas this year…
One of those names you kind of assumed would just keep on playing forever, the eternal Bruno Alves has finally called it quits after a short stint in Greece with Apollon Smyrnis.
The centre-back was capped 96 times by Portugal and won league titles in Portugal, Russia and Fenerbahce. Football’s evidently in his blood, as days after announcing his playing career was over he was appointed as the new sporting director at AEK Athens.
The former Newcastle and Inter full-back has hung up his boots at the age of 31. He’s only made a total of 42 Serie A appearances for Roma since 2018 and suffered through years of injury hell.
“The left knee is just gone, my right knee had 3 surgeries and cartilage removed,” he said.
“I didn’t turn anyone down, I was never going to pass a medical,” he responded to accusations that he rejected moves away from Roma.
The Paraguayan journeyman made over 100 appearances for Borussia Dortmund back when they were at their title-winning pomp under Jurgen Klopp.
He left the Bundesliga club over a decade ago but has kept plugging away, having turned out for Guangzhou Evergrande, Spartak Moscow and Montpellier since, eventually returning to South America, moving around frequently to take his total tally of clubs represented on his native continent to 16.
Barrios has just announced his retirement at the age of 37. You’ll imagine he’ll have a few frequent flyer points to use up now.
A strange and unexpected one, this.
Hinteregger is only 29 and has a year remaining on his contract Eintracht Frankfurt contract, while he played a key role as they won the Europa League last term.
“Last autumn I’d already started to think about retiring at the end of the season. I was in a difficult period on the pitch: my performances were shaky. The wins didn’t feel as good anymore, and every defeat hurt twice as much,” he explained in a statement on Frankfurt‘s official website.
The decision comes shrouded in controversy following the discovery of his personal links to an alleged neo-Nazi figure in Germany.
“Some emotional and perhaps ill-advised words from me have caused irritation and I would like to apologise for that. I regret that very much,” he added in the statement.
“To make it clear once again: I condemn right-wing, intolerant and inhuman ideas in the strongest possible terms. Those who know me know that.”
With this, we complete our list of 13 Big name players who have retired in 2022. Follow Sportz Point.