Retirement is very emotional for players,after all it means saying goodbye to the sport they loved.Its never easy for them to decide when to retire,and sometimes they regret after having made the decision to retire which leads them to reverse their decision and make a comeback.Today we will have a look at some of the footballers who came out of retirement.
Here are 10 footballers who came out of retirement
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Zinedine Zidane played a key role in the success of France at both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Zidane won the 1998 World Cup, scoring twice in the final and UEFA Euro 2000, where he was named the Player of the Tournament. He was also named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.
After France’s elimination from Euro 2004, Zidane announced his retirement from international football.
With the mass retirement of veteran key players such as Bixente Lizarazu, Marcel Desailly, Claude Makélélé and Lilian Thuram, France struggled to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. At the urging of coach Raymond Domenech, Zidane came out of retirement and was immediately reinstated as team captain.
Before the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin, Zidane was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. Having already announced he was to retire after the expiration of his Real Madrid contract at the end of the 2005–06 season, the world of football already knew Zidane’s second World Cup final was to be the last match of his career.
Seven minutes into the match Zidane put France ahead,however he was then sent off in the 110th minute of the game after headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest, so he did not participate in the penalty shootout which Italy won 5–3.
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In March 2011, Arsenal had a goalkeeping crisis on his hands; Woljiech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone were all ruled out with finger, shoulder and thigh injuries respectively. Manuel Almunia was the only fit senior goalkeeper available, prompting Wenger to call up an old favourite,Jens Lehmann.
Jens Lehmann played 199 times for Arsenal between 2003 and 2008, and was an integral member of the Gunners’ unbeaten title-winning squad of 2004.
He was lacking match fitness and wasn’t expected to feature with Almunia still the number one choice. But in a game against Blackpool, Alumina got injured in the warm up and Lehmann made his first appearance for the club since his return, a match that ended 3-1 in the Gunners’ favour.
Lehmann finally retired at the end of the season as the second-oldest player to represent the Gunners in their history, at the age of 41.
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Paul Scholes won everything with Manchester United, with 11 league titles, 3 FA Cups and 2 Champions Leagues. His high point came in the semi-final when he scored the winning goal against Barcelona in the semi-final of the 2008 Champions League against Barcelona.
Scholes announced his retirement in May 2011 after 17 years of service and joined the coaching staff of the Red Devils. United even conducted a testimonial match in his honour against the New York Cosmos.
On 8 January 2012, Scholes reversed his decision to retire because of the injury crisis in the Manchester United squad and made his return as a substitute during a 3–2 win, against neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup. His customary number 18 shirt occupied by Ashley Young, Scholes wore the number 22 which he had last worn during the 1995–96 season.United narrowly lost that season to Manchester City.
The former England midfielder played a bit-part role in Ferguson’s final season in 2012/13 as a Robin van Persie-inspired Manchester United won the league at a canter to bring Scholes’ total tally to 11 league titles. This time Scholes retired for good to take up a career as a pundit.
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Romario is considered as one of the greatest players of all time and is one of the few to score over 1000 goals in professional football.But he is still officially on 929 goals,with others being scored in friendly/youth matches.
Romario decided to quit football in 2008 after a long and illustrious career citing weight gain as the main reason. But in 2009, he announced he would be coming out of retirement to play for Rio De Janeiro club, America. The decision was a tribute to his father after he passed away, with his dying wish being to see his son play for the club.
Romario played his first game on 29th November as a second-half substitute in the 68th minute. Although he didn’t score America won 2-0 and took the title of the second division of the Carioca Championship.
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Overmars won the League and Cup double with Arsenal in 1998. Overmars became a focal point of Arsenal’s double success. He scored the winning goal against league rivals Manchester United which set his team on their way to securing the Premier League title and opened the scoring against Newcastle United in the 1998 FA Cup Final.
In 2000, he moved to Barcelona in a deal worth £25 million and became the most expensive player in Dutch football history. The club failed to win silverware during his stay and numerous managerial changes made him a peripheral player.
A persistent knee injury prompted Overmars to announce his retirement in 2004.
In July 2008, Overmars played in Jaap Stam’s testimonial match in a team of “former Stam-mates” against Ajax.His performance, which saw him trouble defender George Ogăraru, earned him invitations from Dutch and German clubs to make his professional comeback. He declined the offers at first, but in August 2008 announced he was to come out of retirement to play again for Go Ahead Eagles.Overmars’ comeback lasted only one season as his knee continued to give him discomfort.
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Arguably the greatest player ever,Lionel Messi decided to quit International football after Argentina’s loss to Chile in Copa America 2016.This was Messi’s third consecutive defeat in a major tournament final with Argentina,having already lost in the final of World Cup and Copa America in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Following his announcement, a campaign began in Argentina for Messi to change his mind about retiring.He was greeted by fans with signs like “Don’t go, Leo” when the team landed in Buenos Aires. President of Argentina Mauricio Macri urged Messi not to quit, stating, “We are lucky, it is one of life’s pleasures, it is a gift from God to have the best player in the world in a footballing country like ours.Lionel Messi is the greatest thing we have in Argentina and we must take care of him.” Mayor of Buenos Aires Horacio Rodríguez Larreta unveiled a statue of Messi in the capital to convince him reconsider retirement.
ust a week after Messi announced his international retirement, Argentine newspaper La Nación reported that he was reconsidering playing for Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September.On 12 August, it was confirmed that Messi had reversed his decision to retire from international football, and he was included in the squad for the national team’s upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
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Socrates was considered to be one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game.In 1983, he was named South American Footballer of the Year. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
Sócrates played for Brazil for seven years, scoring 22 goals and representing the nation in two World Cups. He captained the team in the 1982 FIFA World Cup; playing in midfield alongside Zico, Falcão and Éder, considered one of the greatest Brazilian national teams ever.He also appeared in the 1979 and 1983 Copa América.
The midfielder made 60 appearances for his country and played most of his club football with Corinthians and Botafogo. He announced his retirement after returning to Brazil following a short stint in Fiorentina.
But in 2004, at the young age of 50, he decided to come out of retirement, signing for Garforth town in the Northern Counties East Football League in England. He signed as a player-coach for the minnows and made a single professional appearance against Tadcaster Albion coming on a substitute for the last 12 minutes of the game.
The Brazilian did realize after playing those 12 minutes that his age rally had caught up with him and decided to completely retire from the game after that. Socrates sadly passed away in December of 2011 and the Garforth owner Simon Clifford paid tribute to the legend saying, “He showed great grace in playing for me. He took no money for playing” after the club was apparently close to bankruptcy.
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Klinsmann played for several prominent clubs in Europe and was part of the West German team that won the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the unified German team that won the 1996 UEFA European Championship. One of Germany’s premier strikers during the 1990s, he scored in all six major international tournaments he participated in, from Euro 1988 to 1998 World Cup. In 1995, he came in third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Klinsmann’s last club stint was with his old club Tottenham Hotspur for whom he played 15 games and scored 9 goals saving the club from relegation.
He then represented Germany one last time in the world cup of France 1998, a tournament which turned out to be a big disappointment for the European giants.
Everyone thought he had played his last game at the end of his Tottenham career, but in 2003 he was convinced to come out of retirement to play for fourth division outfit Orange County Blue Star. Klinsmann showed he still had it in him by scoring 13 goals for the club in that season.
Klinsmann then finally did retire from his playing career and took up coaching after that.
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Carragher played 17 years for liverpool and was Liverpool’s vice-captain for 10 years, and is the club’s second-longest ever serving player, making his 737th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions on 19 May 2013. Carragher also holds the record for the most appearances in European competition for Liverpool with 150.
Carragher won many honours with Liverpool- two FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League, one UEFA Cup and two Super Cups. Through all the successes at the club, he played a key role at the heart of the defence. However, he was never the first-choice centre-back for the national team.
Carragher decided to retire from international football, stating his unwillingness to feature as a squad player and a lack of opportunities at centre back, the position at which he plays for Liverpool.
He made his return to international football to help an injury-hit England ahead of the 2010 World Cup. Carragher appeared in both of England’s opening games, receiving a booking in each that kept him out of the third game of the group stages. He failed to make it to the playing XI in the knockout stage exit to Germany. Carragher’s England career was then over for good.
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In 1978 Cruyff was 31, and winding up his career at the top level. The Dutchman had just led Barcelona to a Copa del Rey triumph, and having being a crucial fixture in the squad that secured the Catalan club’s first La Liga title in 14 years five years earlier, Cruyff decided it was time to call it a day. But his retirement was rather short-lived. Just a year later, Cruyff discovered he had lost all his money – about $2.4m – to a ruinous pig-breeding venture in Spain.
The doomed investment came through a shady business partner who had convinced Cruyff of the potential returns associated with the venture. Broke and ageing, Cruyff crossed the Atlantic to sign a lucrative deal with the Los Angeles Aztecs, where he played for one season and won the North American Soccer League Player of the Year.
The following season, he moved to play for the Washington Diplomats. He played the whole 1980 campaign for the Diplomats, even as the team was facing dire financial trouble. In May 1981, Cruyff played as a guest player for Milan in a tournament, but was injured. As a result, he missed the beginning of the 1981 NASL soccer season, which ultimately led to Cruyff choosing to leave the team. Cruyff also loathed playing on artificial surfaces, which were common in the NASL at the time.
In January 1981, Leicester City manager Jock Wallace made an attempt to bring Cruyff to England, but despite the Dutchman expressing interest in the move, a deal could not be reached and he signed for Levante instead. Injuries blighted his time with the second division side as he played only ten games, scoring twice.
Aged 34 and still in need of money, he returned to Ajax in the summer of 1981. Cruyff led Ajax to the title, before helping them to a league and cup double the following season. But the Ajax hierarchy were unconvinced of Cruyff’s ability to pull the crowds, they were unhappy with his cut of the gate receipts and believing the magic was gone, they let him leave.
Cruyff felt betrayed, and to show his dissatisfaction he joined Ajax’s archrivals Feyenoord. Cruyff led Feyenoord to the Eredivisie in 1983/84, playing in all but one of 34 league games. He won the Dutch Player of the Year award for the fifth time, and in May 1984, the legend hung up his boots finally.