20 Football Players Who Could Retire In 2024

Jesus Navas football players retiring in 2024 SEVILLE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Jesus Navas of Sevilla FC reacts during the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla FC and PSV Eindhoven at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on November 29, 2023 in Seville, Spain
(Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

All good things must come to an end. This cliché also applies to the careers of footballers, as retirement is an inevitable part of their career.

Professional football players are now retiring at a later age than their predecessors, which makes it much harder for fans to bid them farewell when they finally decide to hang their boots.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both in the twilight of their careers but could likely play until the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

A lot of prominent football players retired in 2023 such as Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Mesut Özil, Theo Walcott, and Gareth Bale.

Last year, we even made a prediction for football players who could be retiring in 2023. Gianluigi Buffon, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Godin, and Willy Caballero, all of whom retired from football in 2023, were included in our list.

In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG looks at 20 players who are likely to retire in 2024.

1. Santi Cazorla (38)

Santi Cazorla football players retiring in 2024 SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 06: Santi Cazorla in action during Joaquin Sanchez Tribute Match at Estadio Benito Villamarin on June 06, 2023 in Seville, Spain. oaquin Sanchez played 14 seasons at Real Betis.
(Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)


Former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is still playing at the grand old age of 38.

In his prime, Cazorla was one of the greatest two-footed players in football.

In August 2023, Cazorla returned to his boyhood club, Real Oviedo, on a one-year contract. It remains to be seen whether he will stay further.

2. Pepe (40)

Pepe Portugal oldest football players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
(Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of his generation, Pepe is still rocking it at age 40!

On the 25th of October 2023, at 40 years and 241 days, he became the oldest outfield player to play in the UEFA Champions League in a 4-1 group stage victory away at Royal Antwerp, breaking the record previously held by Alessandro Costacurta for 17 years.

On the 7th of November, in the return fixture, Pepe headed in Porto’s second goal in a 2-0 victory over Royal Antwerp, becoming, at 40 years and 254 days old, the oldest-ever goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League history—breaking the record previously held by Manfred Burgsmüller in 1988.

He actively participated in the recent World Cup where he was one of the oldest players at the 2022 World Cup.

3. Giorgio Chiellini (39)

Giorgio Chiellini
(Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Considered one of the best defenders of his generation, Giorgio Chiellini is known for his strength, aggressiveness, and man-marking, as well as his ability to play in either a three or four-man defense.

He spent the best part of his career with Juventus. The Italian departed to the United States to join Los Angeles FC in 2022, winning the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup in his first season.

Now 39, Chiellini may be considering calling it a day.

4. Adam Lallana (35)

Adam Lallana NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Adam Lallana of Brighton & Hove Albion running during the Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Brighton & Hove Albion at City Ground on November 25, 2023 in Nottingham, England.
(Photo by Neal Simpson/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)

Adam Lallana was part of the Steven Gerrard era at Liverpool and was still a member during the club’s period of success under Jurgen Klopp.

In July 2020, he left Liverpool for Brighton and Hove Albion on a three-year contract on a free transfer.

In March 2023, Lallana signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at Brighton until 2024.

Who knows? Adam Lallana might surprisingly retire next year.

5. James Milner (37)

James Milner most versatile football players BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: James Milner of Brighton in action during the Group B - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Brighton & Hove Albion and AEK Athens FC at American Express Community Stadium on September 21, 2023 in Brighton, England.
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

James Milner has been playing in the Premier League for as long as many young fans can remember. And he’s still around!

With limited game time at Liverpool, the veteran departed to join Brighton, just like Lallana.

On the 16th of September 2023, Milner played in a 3-1 away win over Manchester United to become the first player to win at Old Trafford with FOUR different clubs, in addition to achieving a record of 11 victories in total, including 6 away wins against the same opponent.

In his prime, Milner was one of the top utility players in football. He was capable of playing in different positions effectively.

6. Jesus Navas (38)

Jesus Navas football players retiring in 2024 SEVILLE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 29: Jesus Navas of Sevilla FC reacts during the UEFA Champions League match between Sevilla FC and PSV Eindhoven at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on November 29, 2023 in Seville, Spain
(Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Yes, Jesus Navas is still playing football!

The Spaniard spent the vast majority of his career with Sevilla, winning 8 major titles, including four UEFA Cups/Europa Leagues and two Copas del Rey.

In 2013, he signed for Manchester City, where he won the 2013/14 Premier League.

He re-joined Sevilla in 2017, going on to hold the club’s record for most competitive appearances at 654.

A Spain international since 2009, Navas helped his country win the 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012, and the 2022/23 Nations League, earning 50 caps and scoring five goals.

7. Sergio Ramos (37)

Sergio Ramos football players who could he great managers SEVILLE - Sergio Ramos of Sevilla FC during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Sevilla FC and PSV Eindhoven at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on November 29, 2023 in Seville, Spain. ANP MAURICE VAN STEEN
(Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time, Sergio Ramos is still playing.

Probably trying to set an all-time RED CARD record that no one can match!!!

Ramos is best known for the 16 seasons he spent playing for Real Madrid, winning four UEFA Champions League titles whilst at the club, along with two UEFA European Championships and the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the Spanish national team.

Out of contract at Madrid, he signed for PSG in July 2021, spending two seasons at the club and winning Ligue 1 twice.

On the 4th of September 2023, Ramos returned to his boyhood club, Sevilla, after 18 years by signing a contract until the end of the season.

Although it is unlikely that Ramos could be among the football players retiring in 2024, he is definitely one player who would become a great manager in the future.

8. Raul Albiol (38)

Raul Albiol best captains on football 2022
(Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Raul Albiol has spent most of his career with Valencia, Real Madrid, and Villarreal, winning five major titles between the first two teams.

He amassed La Liga totals of 353 matches and eight goals over 14 seasons and also played several years in the Italian Serie A with Napoli.

A Spain international since 2007, Albiol represented the country in two World Cups and as many European Championships, winning three tournaments, including the 2010 World Cup.

At 38, he’s still playing for Villarreal.

9. Ever Banega (35)

Ever Banega started his career with Boca Juniors and signed with Valencia in 2008, where he remained for several years, appearing in 162 official games and winning the 2008 Copa del Rey.

After joining Sevilla in 2014, he conquered three Europa League trophies over two separate spells.

The 35-year-old currently plays for the Saudi Pro League club, Al Shabab.

10. Kasper Schmeichel (37)

Kasper Schmeichel football players retiring in 2024 (Denmark) with post game despair during a Group H - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers game, Northern Ireland v Denmark , at Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 20, 2023.
(Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Kasper Schmeichel played 479 competitive appearances for Leicester over 11 years during the most successful era in the club’s history.

He won the Championship in the 2013/14 season, the Premier League in 2015/16, the FA Cup in 2020/21, and the FA Community Shield in 2021.

He left Leicester in 2022 to sign for Ligue 1 club, Nice. In September 2023, his contract with the club was terminated by mutual consent.

Subsequently, Schmeichel signed a one-year contract with Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht.

11. João Moutinho (37)

João Moutinho footballers retiring in 2024 Joao Moutinho of SC Braga during the Champions League Group C match between SSC Napoli and SC Braga at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on December 12, 2023 in Naples, Italy
(Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Joao Moutinho began his professional career with Sporting CP, moving in 2010 to FC Porto and winning 12 major titles between the two clubs combined.

Three years later, he transferred to Monaco for €25 million, conquering the Ligue 1 championship in the 2016/17 season.

In 2018, he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers, playing 212 total games before being released in 2023 and joining Sporting Braga.

12. Claudio Bravo (40)

Claudio Bravo best South American goalkeepers in the world
(Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Do you remember Claudio Bravo?

Bravo started his career with Colo-Colo and left to Real Sociedad in 2006, featuring in 237 official games with the latter club.

He is one of the best South American goalkeepers.

Barcelona snapped him up for €12 million in 2014, and he won the treble and the Zamora Trophy in his first season at the club.

In the summer of 2016, he secured a move to Manchester City, where he won several titles.

After four years in England, he returned to Spain, signing for Real Betis. He is now 40 years old!

13. Jonny Evans (35)

Evans has been around for like forever.

Jonny Evans appeared in almost 200 matches for Manchester United and won three Premier League titles amongst a host of other honours in an eight-year spell.

However, he fell out of favour at the club under manager Louis van Gaal and left for West Bromwich Albion in 2015.

After West Brom’s relegation three years later, Evans signed for Leicester City, with whom he won the FA Cup in 2021.

Following Leicester City’s relegation (another relegation!!!) in 2023, Evans was released and returned to his former club Manchester United on a one-year contract.

The 35-year-old may hope to hang his boot on a high at Old Trafford.

14. Lukasz Fabianski (38)

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski has been with West Ham since 2018.

In March 2021, the Polish goalie extended his contract with West Ham until June 2022.

In July 2022, he signed a further contract extension until the summer of 2023.

15. Guillermo Ochoa (38)

Guillermo Ochoa World Cup
(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Having participated in 5 FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022), Guillermo Ochoa has gained international recognition for his consistency and big-game performances in the global showpiece.

Who can forget his dazzling displays at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil?

Ochoa is the most capped goalkeeper in the history of the Mexican national side and is currently third on the all-time list with 148 appearances.

16. José Fonte (39)

Jose Fonte has defied the odds to keep playing at the highest level, even now at 39.

In July 2023, Fonte signed a one-year contract with Portuguese side Sporting Braga.

17. Dante (40)

The same Dante of Bayern? Yes! He’s evergreen.

After emerging at Juventude, Dante went on to play for Lille, Charleroi, and Standard Liège, winning the Belgian Pro League with the latter.

In January 2009, he was signed by Borussia Mönchengladbach, spending two-and-a-half seasons before making a €4.7 million move to Bayern Munich, where he won 9 domestic and international honours.

He joined French side Nice in 2016, and now 40, he’s the club’s captain.

18. Hugo Lloris (36)

Hugo Lloris best goalkeepers in the EPL
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Wait, but Lloris has retired? No!

Hugo Lloris has been at Tottenham since 2012. After a decade, he became surplus to requirement.

In July 2023, Tottenham revealed that Lloris was left out of the club’s pre-season tour, with a statement reading that he could “explore prospective transfer opportunities.”

In August, the club said that Son Heung-min had replaced Lloris as captain of Tottenham Hotspurs.

Nonetheless, Lloris remained at the club and continued training with the squad despite failing to be included in match-day squads by new manager Ange Postecoglou.

19. Steve Mandanda (38)

A product of the Le Havre academy, Steve Mandanda spent most of his professional career with Marseille, making 613 appearances across all competitions in two spells at the club, and was voted Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year five times.

He also had a short stint with Crystal Palace between his spells at Marseille.

In July 2022, Mandanda joined Rennes, aged 38.

20. Pepe Reina (41)

Pepe Reina football players retiring in 2023
(Photo by Alavaro Medranda/Icon Sport via Getty Images)


Pepe Reina has played for the likes of Barcelona, Villarreal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Napoli, AC Milan and Lazio.

He returned to Villareal in July 2022 and keeps on going even at the grand old age of 41.

Despite being one of the oldest players still playing football, Reina might not retire anytime soon.

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