13 Footballers Who Could Be Retiring In 2023

Andrés Iniesta footballers retiring in 2023
(Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Some of our favorite footballers who have been entertaining us for several years could be retiring in 2023. 

It is bittersweet to see top players hang up their boots, but we will be eternally grateful for all the memories they have given us.

While it is possible that some of these players could still continue their careers into their 40s, there is also the possibility that 2023 will be the last year we see them. 

The likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi seem to get better with age. They will be around beyond this year. 

In this piece, TOP SOCCER BLOG takes a look at the top players who could retire in 2023.

1. Diego Godin (36 years old)

Diego Godin

Diego Godin turned out for top teams like Villareal, Atletico Madrid, and Inter Milan. 

He won 8 trophies with Athletico, including the La Liga title in 2013/14.

After departing Cagliari, he joined Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro in 2022. 

Godin left them to sign for Argentine club Vélez Sarsfield in June 2022. His contract expires in 2023, and he may decide to call it a day. 

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (41 years old)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic oldest footballers still playing
(Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is aging like fine wine. 

Last season, he added another Serie A title to his trophy collection with AC Milan — more than a decade after winning his first for the club.

That was his 7th Serie A title overall, having also won it with Juventus and Inter Milan.

In total, the Swede has 34 trophies over a career that has spanned more than two decades, where he has also played for Ajax, Barcelona, PSG, Manchester United, and LA Galaxy.

In July 2022, Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed a one-year contract extension with Milan, staying for the next season.

With injuries taking their toil on his body, he may quit football at the end of the 2022/23 season. 

3. Andres Iniesta (38 years old)

Andrés Iniesta footballers retiring in 2023
(Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

After a glorious career with Barcelona, Andres Iniesta joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe in 2018.

During his active playing days, Andres Iniesta cemented his place as one of the best soccer players of all time.

In May 2021, the midfielder signed a contract extension with Vissel Kobe till 2023. It may be his last playing career contract ever. 

4. Giorgio Chiellini (38 years old)

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 defence.

He joined Juventus in 2005 and won a record 9 consecutive Serie A titles from 2012 to 2020. 

Furthermore, he also won 5 Coppa Italia titles and 5 Supercoppa Italiana titles, having also played two UEFA Champions League finals (in 2015 and 2017).

He retired from international football in 2022 with 117 caps — making him Italy’s joint 5th-highest appearance holder.

On the 13th of June 2022, Chiellini agreed to join MLS side, Los Angeles FC, on a contract till 2023. It remains to be seen whether he will continue playing afterwards or not. 

5. Joaquin (41 years old)

Joaquín Sánchez oldest footballers still playing 2021

Real Betis captain, Joaquin, will become 42 years old in 2023.

He is one of the oldest football players in the world at the moment.

In his prime, the Spanish winger was known for his pace, acceleration, excellent dribbling, and crossing. 

He spent the most of his career with Betis and Valencia, appearing in over 600 La Liga matches over 19 seasons — winning the Copa del Rey with both clubs (twice with Betis). 

With 605 appearances so far, he is the outfield player with the most appearances in La Liga history. 

Additionally, only goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta (622) is ahead of him on the all-time list. 

In September 2022, Joaquin became the oldest player to score in the Europa League at 41 years and 56 days.

He is definitely one of the footballers who will likely be retiring in 2023.

6. David Silva (36 years old)

David Silva footballers Retiring In 2023
(Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, David Silva spent the best part of his career at Manchester City. 

With the English club, he won 2 FA Cups, 5 League Cups, and 4 Premier League titles. 

He joined Spanish club, Real Sociedad in 2020 and helped them win the Copa del Rey title soon after. 

This may be David Silva’s final season as a footballer. 

7. Juan Mata (34 years old)

Juan Mata footballers who could be retiring in 2023
(Photo by Seskim Photo/MB Media/Getty Images)

Juan Mata spent the peak of his career at Chelsea, where he won the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and FA Cup. 

After falling out of favour at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho, Mata was sold to Manchester United in January 2014 for £37.1m. 

He made 285 appearances over 9 seasons at United — winning the Europa League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Community Shield. 

After his contract with United expired, he joined Galatasaray on a 1-year contract in the summer of 2022.

Although there is an option to extend the deal by a further year, Mata may decide to retire in 2023.

8. Dani Alves (39 years old)

Daniel Alves oldest footballers at 2022 world cup
(Photo by Buda Mendes – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Widely considered as one of the greatest full-backs of all time, Dani Alves is among the most decorated players in the history of football — with 47 official titles. 

He spent the best part of his career with European giants: Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, and PSG. 

On the 23rd of July 2022, Alves signed a 1-year contract with Mexican club, UNAM.

He may hang his boots when the deal expires in 2023. 

He featured in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the Brazilian national team, and was one of the oldest players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

9. Willy Caballero (41 years old)

Willy Caballero soccer players retiring in 2023
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Willy Caballero spent most of his career in Spain, representing Elche and Málaga. 

In 2014, he joined Manchester City and helped them win the 2016 League Cup. 

In 2017, the Argentine joined Chelsea, where he was a backup keeper for 4 seasons — winning the FA Cup, Champions League, and Europa League. 

Caballero made his senior debut for Argentina in 2018.

He represented the nation at the 2018 World Cup and was also a non-playing member of the squad that won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

After leaving Chelsea, he started training with League One side, AFC Wimbledon.

When Southampton’s two main goalkeepers both suffered injuries, Caballero joined the Saints in December 2021. 

In July 2022, he signed a one-year contract extension with Southampton till 2023.

10. Ashley Young (37 years old)

Ashley Young football players who could retire in 2023
(Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

After playing for Watford, Manchester United, and Inter Milan, Ashley Young returned to Aston Villa in 2021. 

When his contract expired in June 2022, re-signed for another season until 2023. 

Ashley is still very much active, but he is one of the oldest players in the Premier League, and could retire in 2023.

11. Pepe Reina (40 years old)

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

Pepe Reina had successful stints at the likes of Barcelona, Villareal, Liverpool, Napoli, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Aston Villa, and Lazio.

On the 8th of July 2022, Reina returned to Villarreal on a season-long deal.

He may retire in 2023 when he turns 41.

12. Jorge Molina (40 years old)

Jorge Molina oldest footballers still playing

A late bloomer, Jorge Molina, began to play professional football at 25 years old. 

He would go on to represent top Spanish clubs: Real Betis, Getafe, and Granada. 

In December 2021, Molina became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in La Liga history at 39 years old.

Now 40, he is currently playing in the Spanish second division.

13. Roque Santa Cruz (41 years old)

Roque Santa Cruz
(Photo by Franklin Jacome/Getty Images)

Roque Santa Cruz is the record goal scorer for the Paraguayan national team. He is regarded as the best player in the nation’s history.

He played for the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Real Betis, and Malaga.

Now 41 years old, Santa Cruz is currently playing for the Paraguayan side, Libertad.

Honourable Mentions:

  • Diego Lopez (41 years old) 
  • Rabiu Ali (42 years old) 
  • James Milner (36 years old)
  • Kazuyoshi Miura (55 years old) 
  • Robert Carmona (60 years old)
Total
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