Legendary Players Who Have Retired From Football This Season

The end of the 2023-24 season brings with it plenty of goodbyes. While there is still Euro 2024 to look forward to, many fans will still be trying to get over the departures of some of the best players to grace the beautiful game. While the Premier League football odds are still in Manchester City’s favour for next term, a number of teams will need to invest in their sides in order to remain competitive, especially with players hanging up their boots.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the legends from across England and the rest of Europe who have retired from football this season.

Joe Hart

A former Manchester City legend, Joe Hart bid farewell to his time between the sticks this season after a fantastic career that ended with winning the Scottish Premier League with Celtic.

Hart was a regular at the Etihad until Pep Guardiola arrived in 2016 before joining Serie A side Torino on loan. Two Premier League titles in Sky Blue were accompanied by a plethora of titles in Glasgow, as well as a stint deputising Hugo Lloris at Tottenham Hotspur before calling time on his career.

Toni Kroos

The most notable retirement this summer has been Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos. Despite being just 33 years old, the German midfielder left Los Blancos and will retire officially at the end of Euro 2024. The six-time Champions League winner rose to stardom at Bayern Munich, where he won the treble in 2013, before World Cup success in 2014 earned him a move to the Spanish capital.

“My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level,” Kroos said in a post on his Instagram account. “I am happy and proud that in my mind I found the right timing for my decision and that I could choose it on my own.”

“I have always said Real Madrid is and will be my last club,” he said. “After ten years at the end of season this chapter comes to an end. I will never forget this successful time.”

Leonardo Bonucci

Another surprise entry, Leonardo Bonucci played his last game for Turkish side Fenerbahçe but is more known for his exploits in Serie A, where the tough-tackling centre-back won everything possible in Italian football.

Bonucci enjoyed two spells at Juventus, while also representing both Milan clubs in a career that spanned 500 appearances. On top of this, the 37-year-old was the heartbeat of an Azzurri defence that won Euro 2020 alongside Giorgio Chiellini, scoring Italy’s equaliser at Wembley in the final.

Andy King

Perhaps a player that goes under the radar, Andy King has won the league at every level on the English professional football pyramid, known for his role in Leicester City’s Premier League victory in 2016, as well as a stellar career with Wales in which he won 50 international caps.

King spent 14 years at the King Power Stadium before returning to boyhood side Bristol City in 2021 where he became a player coach before officially announcing his retirement after the Robins failed to earn a place in the Championship Play Offs.