Similar to other sports, football suffered as well and underwent a lot of changes in 2020. From debates over the number of substitutions to managing squads ravaged by COVID-positive cases, it was a tough year to say the least. While the lockdown in different parts of the world stopped all sporting activities, many football stars decided to hang up their boots.
These football stars had decided that they might not be able to put up anymore with the game and decided to hang up their boots. In this article, we will focus on five eminent football stars who retired in 2020.
5. Andre Schurrle
Andre Schurrle surprisingly announced his retirement from football at the age of just 29. The German cited that he felt lonely and couldn’t match up to the cut-throat competition in modern football. It was a sorry turn for the German from the highs of winning the Premier League with Chelsea in 2014-15 and the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
Schurrle brought down the curtains on an illustrious career where he featured in more than 350 games. He also featured in 57 games for Germany scoring 22 times. But the biggest highlight of his career would certainly be the late brace he scored in the 7-1 demolition of Brazil in the semi-final and his assist to Mario Gotze’s extra time winner in the final of 2014 FIFA World Cup.
4. Mario Gomez
Schurrle’s Germany teammate Mario Gomez also called time on his career from football. One of Germany’s finest strikers in his prime, Gomez hit the peak of his career in 2010 -13 where he won the top scorer award in the 2010-11 Bundesliga season and the 2012 Euros. For his efforts, he won three Bundesliga titles with youth club Stuttgart and Bayern Munich.
He was also part of the historic Bayern Munich side that won the treble in 2012-13 and was conferred the “German Footballer of the Year” award in 2007. Gomez ended his career with a tally of 305 goals in 587 games.
3. Daniele De Rossi
A symbol of loyalty and commitment, Daniele De Rossi embodied the gladiator spirit of Rome when he played for his beloved Roma.
A graduate of AS Roma’s youth academy, De Rossi spent 18 years in the eternal city and despite winning only three trophies with the Giallorossi, the highlight of his career came in 2006 when he lifted the FIFA World Cup with Italy.
De Rossi is the second-highest appearance maker in Roma’s history with 616 appearances and also featured 117 times for Italy in a career distinguished by unblemished service and the respect of his peers. Like other football stars in this list, he announced his retirement in 2020 after a brief stint with Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors.
2. Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany is without doubt one of the faces reminiscent of the turnaround at Manchester City. The Belgian defender was among the first players brought in 2008 by the Citizens under their new owner Sheikh Mansour Al Nahyan.
In 11 years since, Kompany featured in 360 appearances for Manchester City and masterminded their rise to the top of European football. Kompany led City to four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, and the Community Shield in 2012 and 2018. Likewise, he also led Belgium to a third-place finish in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and wrapped up his career with the National team with 89 appearances.
On 17th August 2020, Kompany announced his retirement from football to take up the head coach job at Anderlecht till 2024.
1. Iker Casillas
One of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time, Iker Casillas spent the majority of his career at Real Madrid. Casillas broke into the first team in 1999 and was an unmoved presence for Los Blancos till his exit in 2015.
A player who has won trophy there is to win with both club and country, Casillas won 19 trophies with Real Madrid including five La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League titles among a host of other individual accolades as well.
Casillas also holds the distinction of leading his native Spain to Euro and World Cup glory when La Roja lifted two European Championships (2008, 2012) on either side of a World Cup in 2010, marking an era of dominance matched by few other nations.
The goalkeeper has a record of most appearances in the UEFA Champions League (188). The legendary goalkeeper announced his retirement from the beautiful game in August 2020 and has since returned to Real Madrid to work with their Foundation.