Eleven legends who hung up their boots in 2017

As the year draws to a close we look back at several iconic footballers who officially retired in 2017. Here are eleven of the best.

Francesco Totti

The quintessential one club man, Totti was one of the greatest players of his generation. He spent 25 years at Roma as a number 10 and striker - winning the Serie A, the Coppa Italia twice, Serie A player of the year twice, the 2007 European golden shoe, and becoming the league's second highest scorer of all time. Won the 2006 World Cup with Italy and was a Euro 2000 finalist. He is the youngest club captain in Serie A history and the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history.

Kaka

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The last player to win the Ballon d'Or before Messi and Ronaldo, Kaka became an elite trequartista at AC Milan where, in addition to world player of the year, he won the Champions League, Serie A and Serie A player of the year twice. Moved to Real Madrid for €67 million and won La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Was in the Brazil squad that won the 2002 World Cup.



Andrea Pirlo

One of the greatest ever deep-lying playmakers thanks to his incredible passing, vision and creativity - as well as a freekick specialist. Was crucial in Italy's triumphant 2006 World Cup campaign, during which he was man of the match in the final. Was a finalist at Euro 2012, picking up three man of the match awards along the way. Won the Champions League twice, Serie A twice, and the Coppa Italia with Milan before moving to Juventus where he won four consecutive league titles, three consecutive Serie A player of the year awards and was a Champions League finalist.



Ronaldinho

The back-to-back FIFA world player of the year was totally unplayable at his peak. His unbelievable technical ability, trickery and flair made him one the most entertaining players to watch of all time. Was one of the stars of the Brazil team that dominated the 2002 World Cup. Won La Liga twice and the Champions League at Barcelona before adding a Serie A title with Milan. Even received a standing ovation from the Santiago Bernabeu after taking apart Real Madrid for Barca in El Clasico.



Philipp Lahm

One of the all-time great fullbacks, Lahm spent 13 seasons at Bayern Munich, becoming captain and winning eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, and the Champions League. Earned 113 caps for Germany, becoming a Euro 2008 finalist and hoisting the 2014 World Cup as captain.



Xabi Alonso

A mainstay in Spain's starting XI during the most successful period by a national team ever - winning Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, then Euro 2012 while amassing his 114 caps. Won the Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool; La Liga, Champions League and two Copas del Rey with Real Madrid; and three consecutive Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal with Bayern Munich.



Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend won everything on offer with the Blues: three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and Premier League player of the season. He is Chelsea's all time top goalscorer and amassed 106 caps for England.



Dirk Kuyt

The Dutchman starred in the Eredivisie at the start of his career before stepping up to the Premier League with Liverpool. He became a cult hero with Reds supporters due to his incredible work rate and penchant for scoring important goals. Played and scored in a Champions League final and was also a World Cup finalist in 2010 with the Netherlands. He represented his country 104 times. Later won the Turkish Super Lig with Fenerbahce.



Tomas Rosicky

An extremely talented attacking midfielder whose career was greatly curtailed by injuries. Still managed to earn 105 caps for the Czech Republic, becoming captain in 2006. Won the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and the FA Cup with Arsenal.



Scott Parker

A tough tackling, hard working English central midfielder, Parker had a 20-year long professional career, playing in the Premier League with Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham, Tottenham and Fulham. Named England player of the year in 2011 and captained his country that same year.



Thomas Broich

The sole A-League representative on this list and perhaps Australian football's greatest import. Identified early as one of Germany's brightest young prospects along with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski, Broich's career never reached the heights it was expected to. Injuries and clashes with coaches along the way certainly didn't help. Broich was a class above, however, in his seven seasons with Brisbane Roar - winning three A-League championships, the Johnny Warren Medal twice and the Joe Marston Medal.




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5 min read
Published 30 December 2017 at 10:03am
Source: SBS The World Game