5 big name footballers who will be retiring in 2024: Kroos, Bertrand, Hart…

Football fans, we find ourselves in the retirement sweet spot of the annual football calendar. Domestic seasons are either finished or are wrapping up around Europe, and veteran players have started announcing their retirement from the game.

We’ve still got most of the cup finals to come, but the cascade of the hanging up of boots has begun. Several legendary ballers and cult heroes have announced their intentions to stop doing all those football lark and take a well-earned rest.

We’ll keep this list updated as the retirements roll in. Here’s who we’re saying goodbye to as it stands.

Toni Kroos

One of the greatest midfielders of a generation, if not of all time, has decided to pack it all in after the Euros.

Kroos does have one La Liga game and, of course, a Champions League Final left ahead of him with Real Madrid, then it’s the Euros with Germany and that it — gutenacht und auf wiedersehen.

The German legend left a long announcement message on his Instagram account, part of which went like this:

“My ambition was always to finish my career at the peak of my performance level. From now on there is only one leading thought: go for 15!!! HALA MADRID AND NOTHING MORE!”

Right, anyone got a contact for a cheap pair of adiPURE 11Pros? That’s us spending the summer attempting geometrically gorgeous through balls down the park.

Would you put it past Big Toni to go out with a La Liga/Champions League/Euros tri-haul?

Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema celebrate

READ: An amazing XI of players that miss out in Toni Kroos’ best teammates XI

Leonardo Bonucci

Italy’s captain has won more Serie A titles than Burnley and Sheffield United combined have won Premier League games this season. Nine Scudetti to his name. More shields than the knights of the Round Table.

Last year, Bonucci announced that he would be retiring at the end of this season, but that was when he was still at Juventus, before his little jaunt at Union Berlin and, now, Fenerbahce.

There’s been no update to his plans as far as we can see, and his Fenerbahce contract does run out at the end of the season, so it’s safe to assume he’s still planning on hanging up his boots.

We shall see, though. The Italian’s career has taken an impulsive turn as of late, and who knows what he’s thinking right now?

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Ryan Bertrand

Former Chelsea, Southampton and England left-back Bertrand announced his retirement from football in June 2024.

The 34-year-old, who started in the 2012 Champions League final, had been without a club since leaving the Foxes last summer.

“I will be retiring from football,” Bertrand announced live on Sky Sports.

“It’s been a little while but I get asked a lot of questions – ‘When are you coming back, what are you doing?’

“So, just to make that official I am retiring and very much looking forward to the next steps.”

Joe Hart

Hart is a Manchester City legend, there’s no getting around it. He gave 12 years of service and brought two Premier League titles to the blue half of Manchester.

The England keeper has just announced his retirement from the game after a three-year stint at Celtic, which he’s loved. In fact, to use the man’s own words, “What an absolute club.”

That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever but we get what he means.

We’d completely forgotten about his 2016-17 loan spell at Torino. The thought of Joe Hart cutting about Torino, asking the locals what the Italian word for deeceeeent is, is turning our brain into a swirly soup.

Got podcast hose written all over him, does Harty. You heard it here first.

Joe Hart apologises after England lose to Iceland at Euro 2016.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every member of England’s squad for Euro 2016?

Marouane Fellaini

The Big Belgian called it a day in February of this year, stating, simply, “I am so grateful to have played the sport I love at the highest level.”

That’s lovely. Let us give one last shoutout to Marouane Fellaini, winner of headers, bestubbled protege of Moyesy, and crafter of one of the game’s greatest barnets.