As the year draws to a close, goodforfans.com brings to you five of the very best who hang their boots within the year.
Sergio Aguero: The former Argentina international, who is also Manchester City’s all-time top scorer, was forced to retire earlier this month at the age of 33 because of a heart problem, less than six months after signing for Barcelona.
Wayne Rooney: The former Manchester United and England captain, retired from the game in January at Derby County after being appointed the club’s manager. Rooney spent 13 years as a player at Manchester United, winning five Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, one FA Cup and three League Cups among numerous other honours.
Arjen Robben: Robben initially hang up his boots at the end of the 2018/2019 season after winning his eighth Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich but came out of retirement by joining boyhood club Groningen a year later. The 37-year-old could only play seven games for Groningen as a result of fitness problems and decided to quit for good this summer.
Sami Khedira: The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner hang up his boots this summer at the age of 34 after spells with Stuttgart, Real Madrid, where he won the Champions League, La Liga and two Copa del Reys, Juventus and Hertha Berlin.
Antonio Valencia: Another former Manchester United captain to retire this year was Valencia. He played for the likes of Villarreal, Recreativo Huelva and Wigan Athletic but it was at Manchester United where he made his name. Valencia spent 10 years at Old Trafford between 2009 and 2019 and made 339 appearances, becoming club captain along the way and winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups and the Europa League.
Mario Mandzukic: The Croatia journeyman ended his career in September after turning out for the likes of Dinamo Zagreb, Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Al-Duhail. Mandzukic won two Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich while his spell at Juventus brought four Serie A titles and three Coppa Italia trophies. Mandzukic was a member of the Croatia side that made it to the final of the FIFA World Cup in 2018, scoring three goals in Russia.
Honorable mentions go out to the likes of Samir Nasri, Mehdi Benatia, Maxi Rodriguez, Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye, Ashley Williams who all retired this year.