Football legends who are retiring this season

Petr Cech

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Arsenal and former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech announced in January that he will hang up his gloves at the end of the season, stating that he would love to bow out by winning the Europa League with The Gunners.

Arsenal are 4/1 third favourites to win Europa League across free bet no deposit platforms behind Cech’s former employers Chelsea and Italian side Napoli, whom Arsenal play in the quarter-finals.

The 36-year-old has played professionally for 20 seasons and has won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Europa League title with Chelsea and the 2012 Champions League.

Xavi

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Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez will hang up his boots at the end of this season, confirming that this will be the final year of his stellar playing career.

Xavi, one of the most decorated footballers of all time having won eight La Liga titles and four-time UEFA Champions Leagues during his time at the Nou Camp, as well as being a World Cup and double European Championship winner with Spain, has been plying his trade for Qatar Star League side Al-Sadd since leaving Barcelona in 2015.

The 39-year-old midfielder told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport that he now plans to embark on a coaching career, stating: “99% this is my final season, because at 39 years old it is normal to be tired and have to change path.

“Now I think like a coach and I already have the first licence to take charge of a team and I will finish the UEFA Pro Licence in May.

“It’s not quite yet time to announce departures but clearly I have thought about what I’m going to do.”

Robin Van Persie

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Former Arsenal, Manchester United and Netherlands striker Robin van Persie announced in October that he will retire from football at the end of this season.

The 35-year-old Dutchman returned to Feyenoord in January 2018, the club where he made his debut as a 17-year-old, and has scored 19 goals since his return to Rotterdam.

Van Persie retired internationally in 2016 after scoring 50 goals in 102 appearances for his country.

And… Gianluigi Buffon?

Gianluigi Buffon had planned to bring down the curtain on his legendary playing career by winning the Champions League with Paris St. Germain this season, but the 41-year-old’s hopes were dashed when the French champions were eliminated by Man United in the last-16.

The former Juventus goalkeeper is out of contract at the end of this season and it’s understood that PSG are now not planning to offer the Italian World Cup Winner a new deal.

If that does indeed prove to be the case and Buffon does decide not to continue playing elsewhere, it will be the end of arguably the greatest goalkeeping career in football history, with Buffon winning 23 major club honours in addition to his World Cup triumph.

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