Time waits for no one, and this is more apparent to footballers in their careers, especially at the top level. Every year, a number of football stars hang up their boots and say their goodbyes to the round-leather game.
Here, we look at 11 footballers who retired in 2020.
1. IKER CASILLAS
Arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Real Madrid history, Casillas won 17 titles with Real and won the FIFA World Cup and two UEFA European Championships with Spain. He is one of the few footballers who made over 1000 appearances in their careers. He holds the record for the most clean sheets in Champions League history and also for the Spanish national team. He has the most appearances in the champions league (177).
Casillas suffered a heart attack while playing for FC Porto in May 2019 and officially announced his retirement on the 4th of August 2020 at the age of 39. Adios leyenda!!!
2. LEIGHTON BAINES
35-year-old Baines retired on the 26th of July 2020, having spent 13 years at Everton, where he established himself as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League. A master of set-pieces, he is the highest penalty scorer for Everton and the defender with the most assists in Premier League history. Baines’ 39 goals and 37 assists are the highest goal contribution by a defender in EPL history.
3. ANDRE SCHURRLE
Schurrle hung his boots early at just 29 years of age. He represented Mainz, Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea, Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund, Fulham, and Spartak Moscow in his career. He was capped 57 times by Germany, scoring 22 goals. Schurrle provided the assist to Mario Gotze’s winning goal against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup final.
4. CLAUDIO PIZZARO
At the end of the 2019/20 season, Pizzaro finally announced his retirement at the grand age of 41. He represented the likes of Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and FC Koln in his career — winning 17 trophies. He is the 5th highest goalscorer in Bundesliga history and the all-time top scorer for Werder Bremen. Pizzaro is also the oldest goalscorer in Bundesliga history.
5. MARIO GOMEZ
Gomez played for the likes of VfB Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, Besiktas, and Wolfsburg in his career. He won 7 trophies at Bayern, which included the 2013 UEFA Champions League.
He represented Germany in 5 international tournaments. On the 28th of June 2020, Mario Gomez announced his retirement at the age of 35.
6. ARITZ ADURIZ
Aduriz spent most of his career with Athletico Bilbao across three spells. He is alongside Lionel Messi as the only player to have scored in 15 consecutive La Liga seasons. Aduriz announced his retirement on the 20th of May 2020, aged 39.
7. ESSAM EL-HADARY
The oldest player on this list, aged 47. El-Hadary spent most of his illustrious career with Egyptian giants Al-Ahly, where he won 27 trophies. He won the AFCON four times with Egypt and was part of the Egyptian side that won the trophy three consecutive times between 2006 to 2010. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, El-Hadary became the oldest player to play a match in World Cup history at the age of 45 years and 161 days. Ma’asalam ya Sheikh
8. MILAN Baroš
Baroš played for the likes Liverpool, Aston Villa, Lyon, Portsmouth, and Galatasaray during his career. His most notable spell was at Liverpool, where he won the UEFA Champions league in 2005. He represented his country, Czech Republic, 93 times, scoring 41 goals and won the Golden Boot as the highest goal scorer at Euro 2004.
9. GORAN PANDEV
37-year-old Pandev played for the likes of Inter Milan, Lazio, Napoli Galatasaray, and Genoa in his career. The Northern Macedonian was part of Jose Mourinho’s Inter side that won the treble in 2010.
10. DAVID N’GOG
N’gog turned out for the likes of PSG, Liverpool, Bolton, and Swansea in his career. He last played for the Lithuanian side, FK Zalgiris. He announced his retirement on the 21st of June 2020 at 31 years of age.
11. MILE JEDINAK
Australian international Mile Jedinak played for different clubs (which included Crystal Palace and Aston Villa) in his career. He represented Australia at three FIFA World Cups and captained them to victory at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. He retired in July 2020.