Thanks for the memories
A difficult decision for a reigning sports star to make is when to bow out. Timothy Molobi bids farewell to those who will no longer grace their field of play. Having achieved record highs, they have nothing left to prove
They have been part and parcel of our lives for many years and garnered countless accolades in their chosen sport. All share one thing: they leave us while they still have their dignity intact.
Juan Román Riquelme arlier this year, the celebrated 37-year-old called time on his 18-year career. The attacking midfielder made 51 appearances for Argentina, scoring 17 goals. Best known for his spells with Boca Juniors and Villarreal, Riquelme also played for Barcelona and Argentinos Juniors, and had recently been linked to clubs on the Major League Soccer list and in Paraguay. “Now I am just a fan. I will go and suffer in the stadium,” he said when quitting.
EPortia Modise he 32-year-old striker, who has scored more than 100 goals for Banyana Banyana, also quit. Modise made her national team debut in 2000 and made 117 appearances, scoring her 100th goal in October last year against Algeria at the CAF African Women’s Championship.
TRio Ferdinand n May, the former England captain announced his retirement from professional football, saying it was “the right time” to bring to a close his decorated 18-year career. He spent last season at Queens Park Rangers, which were relegated from the Barclays Premier League. The 37-year-old former England defender was capped 81 times by the Three Lions and made 455 appearances for Manchester United, scoring eight goals and winning six Premier League titles, one European Cup, a Fifa Club World Cup and two League cups.
IMichael Clarke larke burst on to the scene in 2004, when he scored 151 on debut against India. He captained Australia from 2011 to 2015 and finished with a test batting average of 49.10 from 115 matches. But he struggled with the bat and also became the second Australian captain this century to lose two Ashes series in England after Ricky Ponting.
CBrad Haddin ustralia wicketkeeper Haddin announced his retirement from cricket, following Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Chris Rogers in stepping down in the wake of the Ashes series defeat. He could not live up to his past exploits and put his family first when he missed the rest of the Ashes series. The pugnacious 38-year-old, who retired from one-day cricket after Australia’s World Cup triumph earlier this year, kept wickets in 66 tests, scoring 3 266 runs at an average of 32.98 and taking 262 catches with eight stumpings.
AFloyd Mayweather ayweather may have retired with an unbeaten record, but whether he will be written into the annals of history as the greatest boxer is doubtful. His fight against Manny Pacquiao was disappointing. The controversial 38-year-old boxer pulled the pin after beating fellow American Andre Berto to retain the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council welterweight titles in September, finishing with a perfect 49-0 record. When asked if he wanted to come back for a 50th match, he declared his boxing career as “officially over”, and said he was physically healthy and financially secure. He added that he had already broken “all records” in his 19-year career.
MFlavia Pennetta he 33-year-old made the surprise announcement that she would retire after her US Open win, where she beat Serena Williams on route to the title – marking her as a great exemplar of leaving when you are at the top of your game. She became the oldest female in the Open era to win a first grand slam title. She has, however, hinted that she might make a brief
return at next year’s Rio Olympic Games.
TKobe Bryant he Los Angeles Lakers legend is retiring at the end of this season. The timing of the announcement shocked many, but the end was inevitable. Bryant is one of the greatest Lakers of all time and one of the greatest to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). According to US statistics authority Elias Sports Bureau, Bryant is the only player to score 40 or more points in a single game against the NBA’s 29 other teams. In the Number 8 uniform, Bryant dropped 40 or more points 67 times, something he did 54 times in the subsequent Number 24 jersey. With 17 NBA All Star selections, an NBA Most Valuable Player award, five NBA championships with the LA Lakers and two Olympic gold medals, he is one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
Richie McCaw ast month, the All Blacks’ greatest player announced his retirement. The 34-year-old flanker played a world-record 148 tests, 131 of them wins and 110 of them as captain, and led the All Blacks to two World Cup final victories, including October’s triumph against Australia. McCaw is also a three-time winner of the World Player of the Year award.
AT THE TOP OF YOUR GAME
From left: Michael Clarke, Portia Modise, Floyd Mayweather, Kobe Bryant and Richie McCaw