Football is a great way to make money. Nevertheless, this is only one of the stages in the life of an athlete. Not every footballer will perform at a good level when he is over 40, as Gianluigi Buffon, Joaquin Sanchez, and others do. Remember Kazuyoshi Miura from the Japanese championship. Yes, he doesn't play in his country's top division, but at 54, he doesn't need it. The Japanese enter the field because of the buzz, passion for the game and not spoil the porridge.
In 2021, many famous footballers have put on nail polish. Brazilian Hilton, who at 44 played an entire season in Ligue 1 for Montpellier, Steven Gerrard's nightmare Demba Ba Lukas Piszczek also retired from professional football but runs for LKS Gochalkowice from the third division of Poland. We have collected seven of the most famous football players who retired in 2021. By the way, almost all of them managed to play in the German championship. We will not make a rating so that everyone can place the players in places on their own.
During his long career, the best player of the German championship of the 2010/11 season managed to play for the top clubs in Europe. He moved for fabulous money to Real Madrid, played for Liverpool on loan, but was remembered, perhaps, in the form of Borussia Dortmund, for which he spent 220 matches in total.
Among his achievements are victories in the Bundesliga and the Spanish La Liga. He never won anything with the Turkish national team, but he was a leader and inspired young footballers at one of the periods.
He finished his career in his native Turkish championship in Antalyaspor. Since the beginning of the season, he has been the team's head coach.
The striker from the Netherlands is a true legend of his national team, having played 76 matches in an orange shirt, in which he scored 42 goals. Huntelaar's club career has also been eventful. After leaving the Netherlands in 2008, he tried his hand at Real Madrid, Milan, but revealed himself in Schalke, where he became a leader on the field and in the dressing room.
With the club from Gelsenkirchen, the Dutchman won the German Cup and the National Super Cup and scored 82 goals in 175 games.
In 2017, the footballer returned to Ajax, where he had three successful seasons. Many were skeptical about Klas's return to the Amsterdam club because he was already well over 30, but even at that age, he greatly helped the club, including young players.
He ended his career in Schalke, but not on a positive note. He returned to the club with other eminent footballers to help stay in the Bundesliga, but none could help Schalke last season. After relegation to the Second Bundesliga, Claes-Jan Huntelaer announced his retirement.
Another footballer on our list who is known for his performances in the German Bundesliga. Sami Khedira is a true professional in his field, who cemented the center of the field of Real Madrid in the mid-10s. Under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, this tall midfielder has been an integral part of the main squad.
With the arrival of Rafael Benitez, Sami began to play less and decided to move to Juventus in Turin. The 2014 World Champion with the German national team quickly became a key figure in Italy until 2019.
After Juventus doctors discovered that Khedira had heart problems, he no longer showed a high skill level and rarely took to the field in matches for the "old lady." Having moved to Hertha Berlin in February 2021, Khedira played several quality matches but did not show that level of skill anymore. At the end of last season, I hung up my boots.
Is it worth talking about Arjen Robben's career? Everyone already knows everyone. Eight championships in Germany, two Premier League trophies with Chelsea, the Spanish champion with Real Madrid and the most coveted trophy for any footballer in his club career - the Champions League. The list goes on and on. He says one thing: Arjen Robben is a fantastic footballer.
In 2019, the winger decided to end his career after his contract with Bayern Munich. But without football, he did not last long. In 2020, Arjen responded to an offer from the bosses of Groningen, where he began his playing career and signed a contract with the club for one season.
Not to say that the 2020/21 season turned out to be any special for Robben. He played eight matches for the club from the Netherlands, in which he gave two assists. But the main thing that he proved is that at the age of 36-37, you can still perform at the level of your physical condition allows.
35-year-old Mario Mandzukic decided to end his career in May 2021. Perhaps it was necessary to take such a step a year before his contract with the Qatari al-Duhail ended. The Croat went to a country in the Middle East to earn money by signing an agreement for only one year.
And this year, he was not remembered for anything special in the Qatar championship. He played in eight matches in all tournaments and scored two goals. Then he moved to Milan, where he took a T-shirt with a nine on the back. Few players in the Rossoneri under this number, and Mandzhukic did not work. He tried, but age reminded him of himself more and more often. The result was 11 matches and one yellow card.
Looking back, we can say that the striker had a good career. Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Atlético, or Juventus has always produced great seasons and helped teams win trophies. Mario will have a lot of them. And in his native country, Mandzhukich was a significant person and will forever remain a national team legend.
The Argentine forward ended his career quite unexpectedly. After the transfer to Barcelona, it seemed that he would again start showing top football in Spain, as it was during his game for Atletico Madrid. But fate decreed otherwise. First, Sergio missed an impressive period due to injury, and already in his fourth game for the "blue garnet," a very unpleasant episode forced him to hang up his boots.
In the game against Alaves, Sergio fell to the lawn due to a pain in his heart. The doctors immediately felt that something was wrong and, after conducting an in-depth medical examination, their fears were confirmed. Kun tearfully convened a press conference and announced that his time had come. It's all to blame for heart problems, and, as you know, jokes about this are bad.
Aguero made an excellent football career for himself, was remembered wherever he played, and, perhaps, after a while, he will get a position in some club. Manchester City has already offered its legend to become an ambassador.
Bonus! Artem Milevsky
Artem Milevsky is difficult to put on a par with the players above. Yet he has not played at that level and for such great clubs. However, without a doubt, Artem left his mark on the history of Ukrainian football.
The forward was always heard, but he was not always remembered from the good side. However, these were primarily people who were not interested in football. Indeed, at the peak of his career, at a young age, Milevsky showed a fantastic game that will be remembered for many years to come.