Like any other sport, football is a game that has its expiry date for any player. Various footballers, no matter how talented or influential they were, have had to call time on their careers and retirement from the game. However, a few of them have returned to playing football after announcing their retirement. Their reasons may vary, but it would be interesting to find out the soccer players who retired and came back to playing football.
Here are five famous soccer players who came out of retirement.
1. Paul Scholes
Former England midfielder Scholes was one of the best central midfield players of his era. The Manchester United legend was highly regarded and respected for his intelligent passes and rocket-like shots from a distance. Paul made over 460 league appearances for the Red Devils before retiring in 2011. Barely a few months later, he came out of retirement in January of 2012 to play for Manchester, who were going through an injury crisis. He played on for an extra season in the 2012/2013 campaign, winning a league title for his beloved Old Trafford side. At the end of the season, he retired for the second and final time.
2. Roger Milla
The Cameroonian soccer legend is one of the oldest players to have played at the World Cup, and also one of the greatest Africans footballers at the World Cup. For so many years, Milla featured for the Cameroon national team, The Indomitable Lions. He initially retired in 1988 at the age of 36. However, a phone call from the president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, convinced him to come out of retirement and represent the country at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Roger would go on to play in another World Cup in 1994, before retiring finally from all forms of the game in 1996.
3. Edwin van der Sar
Van der Sar is arguably the greatest ever Dutch goalkeeper. The former Manchester United player featured for the Netherlands 130 times. After the 2008 Euros, Edwin retired from international football but was persuaded by then Dutch national team coach Bert Van Marwijk to come out of retirement and feature briefly in a couple of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. Van der Sar kept two clean sheets against Iceland and Norway before retiring finally from international football.
4. Zinedine Zidane
The French maestro is arguably one of the greatest players ever to have played the game. Zidane was a stalwart in the French national team of the 1990s and 2000s. He initially retired from international football in 2004 after a disappointing Euro 2004 campaign, but he was convinced to return to the national team by Coach Raymond Domenech. Zidane led France to the finals of the 2006 world cup but unfortunately ended on an anti-climax with his sending of leading to France’s eventual loss to Italy on penalties. He would soon after announce his retirement from all forms of the game in 2006.
5. Arjen Robben
Flying Dutchman Robben was one of the best and most accomplished players of the modern game. Arjen played for many great clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. Soon after leaving Bayern in 2019, he announced his retirement from football. Robben would later come out of retirement in 2020 to play for his hometown club Groningen. He would feature for just a season before finally retiring from football in the summer of 2021.
NOTABLE FOOTBALLERS WHO CAME OUT OF RETIREMENT:
- Stephen Carr
- Carlos Roa
- Johan Cruyff
- Roberto Carlos
- Landon Donovan
- Jens Lehmann
- Marc Overmars.