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All good things must come to an end. Athletes, when they take up a sport, aim to accomplish all that there is to be accomplished and leave behind a legacy that would be remembered for a long time. They hope to set a benchmark for the future athletes who will take up the sport. The sport becomes an integral part of their life and when that moment comes to bid farewell to the game: it’s a poignant moment, nonetheless. On one hand, you are moving on to the next phase of your life, taking up new endeavors, while on the other, you are saying goodbye to a major part of your life. A bittersweet moment, indeed. We have seen a lot of masters of the game retire in recent years and many more will continue to do the same in the years to come. So let us take a look at some of the world’s best athletes who might retire or hang up their boots in the next 5 years:
Best Athletes who might retire in the next 5 Years
Starting off the list, we have the Argentinean legend, Lionel Andres Messi. Lionel Messi might retire soon as the captain of the Argentina football team revealed that the 2022 World cup in Qatar would surely be his last. He was quoted saying:
“It’s my last World Cup, surely. I feel good physically; I was able to do a very good pre-season this year, which I couldn’t do last year. It was essential to get to where I am, with a good state of mind and a lot of hope.”
This world cup in Qatar would be his fifth. He made his debut for Argentina back in 2005 and has since then won 164 caps for his country and is the country’s record scorer with 90 goals, a tremendous feat indeed. Messi has played in the 2006 World cup in Germany (which was his first), the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the 2014 edition in Brazil, where Argentina reached the final, and 2018 in Russia.
Another player who might follow Messi into retirement is his long-time competitor, Cristiano Ronaldo. Though this world cup in 2022 might not be his last, he may soon decide to call it quits in the years to come. The 37-year-old has revealed that he is not currently considering retirement and plans to play in the 2024 European Championship.
However, the forward has been struggling somewhat at Manchester United and has not yet cemented himself as a definite starter for the team.
The captain of the Portugal football team will enter the Qatar World Cup as the all-time highest scorer in men’s football with 117 international goals.
The fearsome forward, who has played for some of the greatest clubs ever, such as Real Madrid, Ajax, Manchester United, and Juventus, believes that he still has a lot left in him and hopes to prove to the world, that’s why he is considered as one of the greatest of all time.
Lewis Hamilton won seven World titles, he is on the hunt for eight. Debuting in 2007, Hamilton started his career with McLaren, before moving to Mercedes at the end of 2012.
Even though not imminent, he may decide to call it quits soon in the years to come. However, for the time being, the racing legend still aims to keep on going and is not looking to stop anytime soon.
He quipped saying,
“I plan on staying longer. It’s just not set in stone how long. I’m feeling good; I love what I’m doing. We have a lot of work to do, and a lot to achieve still. There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done in this sport. I can’t retire now because I’m only just embarking on helping shift and create a more open and inclusive environment here in this sport and I’ve got to stay to help that continue.”
The 37-year-old is still searching for a win this season to add to his record of 103 victory career haul.
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A legend of American football, Tom Brady has established himself as one of the greatest of the game. Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). Brady holds nearly every major quarterback record there is. Moreover, he also never had a losing season.
The 45-year-old star quarterback has recently come on record to state that he loves the game and wants to continue doing great in the game. However, given that he will soon be turning 50 (in 5 years), retirement is perhaps still in the picture.
Entering the twentieth year of his NBA career, Los Angeles Lakers megastar LeBron James shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. King James, as he is fondly referred to, is a force to be reckoned with. An athlete who has achieved several milestones in his career and has earned numerous accolades can decide to retire anytime he wishes.
However, the only thing that seems to be keeping him going for now is his ardent desire to play alongside his son, Bronny James in the NBA league. Bronny, who isn’t eligible to play in the league until 2024 also, hopes to play alongside his superstar father.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time in basketball, LeBron Jaems is often compared to Michael Jordan in terms of the greatest basketball player of all time. So, perhaps as soon as he gets to play alongside his son: the 37-year-old NBA athlete might retire soon.
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