When Do Football Players Retire? age of each position

soccer retirement

It’s common knowledge that the top level of modern football is played for outrageous sums of money. But when do football players retire? What happens to football players after they retire from the sport? Or is there more to it, with various opportunities available to highly skilled athletes who have already achieved success at the highest levels?

Why Do Soccer Players Retire So Early?

soccer retirement

Physical Decline.

Soccer players lose speed, strength, and endurance with age. It’s harder for a player in his 30s to keep up with the game’s tempo. especially for young, speedy players.

Modern soccer has a packed schedule and requires hard training to maintain performance. All this requires physical fitness. Age weakens muscles, joints, and knees, making soccer players slower and more injury-prone.

Their body can’t endure rigorous soccer movements. Due to this, most players in their mid-30s switch to lower-quality leagues at a slower pace. Then they retire.


Forced retirement’s leading cause. Many catastrophic soccer injuries end potential careers. Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligaments are among the most devastating for football players.

This knee ligament is one of the most devastating sports injuries. 60% of soccer injuries involve the knee. Contacting rival players, jumping, shooting, or improper equipment cause foot injuries.

No time For Their Family

Modern soccer has many duties and contests. Tight schedules leave families with little time. Some of them quit their jobs to spend more time with family.

Nothing Left To Do

This can happen in soccer, as in other pursuits. Top-tier players can win many awards in various competitions. If they achieve, they typically lose drive to keep working. Even the money they make isn’t always enough. In search of fresh challenges, some strive to move the environment, country, or continent.


Others quit for personal reasons. Some have depression and emotional issues. There are disappointed soccer players, contends. Some want a job change.

When Do Football Players Retire?

Goalkeeper (36-42)


Goalies have the longest careers on the field. It’s the least strenuous and doesn’t need them to run miles per game. So long as they can save when a team needs them to. Goalkeepers often play well into their 40s. Gianluigi Buffon defies ageing by playing at 43. Despite leaving Juventus, he doesn’t appear ready to retire.

Centre Back (30-38)

Sergio Ramos

Playing in the differential involves more running, although it can be played later than in other positions. Experience and defensive awareness are more crucial than skill. Being able to tackle young defenders is a must. Early to mid-30s defenders have played for years and have a huge understanding of the game.

While losing some pace, if they can still travel about the pitch and their body feels fine, it’s common to play well into their late 30s. Some of the world’s top center-backs are in their 30s.

Thiago Silva, despite turning 36, helped them win the champions league in 2021. Sergio Ramos, 35, still plays at Real Madrid’s highest level in Spain. Vitorino Hilton, 43, still plays in France’s top division. He’s the oldest center back in Europe, but he still played 29 games last season.

Full Back (30-36)

Ashley Cole

Full-back is a more taxing position than central defense. Hence players retire early. Some fullbacks delay retirement despite needing to keep young players at bay. The top players in this position have recently waited until their late 30s to retire.

Ex-England, Chelsea/Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole retired at 38. He took care of his body and health so he could play late. Dani Alves, 38, and Maicon are quality Brazilian fullbacks. The latter scored one of the best world cup goals and came out of retirement to play for Tre Penne at 39.

Midfielder (30-35)


Midfielders retire more often than defenders and forwards. Midfielders must run many kilometers. All the bombing and retracing will wear out some players. Most midfielders retire in their early to mid-30s. Some midfielders mature like good wine, dominating as if they were 21. 2018 Ballon D’Or winner Modric is still demonstrating his class at 36.

Striker (32-39)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

If your body is healthy and you still want to play, you can play striker until your late 30s. At 35-39, going on defenders may not be the greatest strategy, but many strikers have adapted to the contemporary game so they can still be effective.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who hasn’t retired yet, is the perfect example. AC Milan’s most essential player still performs high in Serie A. Despite turning 40 this year, he scored 15 goals in 19 games.

Do Soccer Players Get Paid After They Retire?


A soccer player retires either at the end of their current contract or mutually. This means the club won’t pay the player. A football player doesn’t have to start over, though.

Modern soccer players have various ways to keep earning after retirement. Social media lets them establish a fanbase while playing. Ronaldo is the most followed footballer and individual on Instagram with 307 million.

Despite his success in the game, having a large social media following is a nice backup. When footballers retire, their former clubs often offer them jobs. So they can keep earning a salary by coaching or directing, to mention a few roles.

What Do Soccer Players Do After Retirement?

Many teams today employ former players in ambassadorial positions, sending them to UEFA and FIFA meetings for cup draws and executive meetings. Some former players have found success in the role of scout for their current club.


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