2017 Review: The Moments, The Memories, The History
Following this, Francesco Totti emotionally finished up his career on May 28, after 26 years at Roma. The then 40 year old Totti left the game with 785 appearances, 307 goals and 126 assists for Roma, as well as a World Cup trophy which he won in 2006 with Italy.
Another double retirement came on October 22, with both Andrea Pirlo and Kaká hanging up the boots. The majestic Pirlo made 754 club appearances in his career, and will always be remembered for his class, winning the 2006 World Cup, and ‘that Panenka’ penalty against Joe Hart at Euro 2012. Despite playing for rival clubs AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, Pirlo was, and still is, loved by all. Kaká ended his 529 game career with 161 goals and 128 assists. An owner of one World Cup, one Best Player in Europe Award, one Champions League, two Confederation Cups, and many more trophies, Kaká’s greatest footballing achievement was beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or in 2007. No other player has beaten Messi and Ronaldo to the award since, highlighting how amazing a player Kaká was in his prime.
Finally, the great Xavi retired on December 7. Capable of doing things on the football field that no one else could, Xavi retired as the 7th most capped player of all-time, with 1088 official appearances in his career. He is also Barcelona’s all-time appearance record holder (767), and 3rd in Spain’s all-time appearance list (133). To go with this, he won 32 trophies in his career, including: one World Cup, two European Championships, four Champions Leagues and eight La Ligas.
With these eight players retiring, it means that we will never again see eight legends of the game grace a football field again. However, we will never forget them, and will always hold dear the moments, the memories, and the history they have left us with.