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    Best Premier League Players that Retired in 2016







    2017 was welcomed by all for many different reasons (excluding Leicester fans) however one reason that football fans will be sad for the passing of the year are the players who retired. Below is a squad of the best players that hung up their boots in 2016. We'll take a look at other players who could possibly hang up their boots in 2017 too.



    Goalkeeper


    Steve Harper
    On the 18th of August 2016 Harper had Hung up his boots after spending 22 years in football. 20 of those years on the books of Newcastle United becoming their longest serving player. However of those 20 years, 6 of those were spent on loan and of the 13 years he was there he played only 157 times. He cried after a send off in 2013 before joining Hull for 2 seasons. His last club was surprisingly Sunderland though he played no games. He is still revered as a club legend despite playing for Newcastle's Rivals. He is now Newcastle's Academy Goalkeeping Coach.


    Defenders


    John Arne Riise
    The Liverpool club Legend will always be known for his thunderous Free Kick against Manchester United. His honours include a Ligue 1 title with Monaco, a Champions League Medal with Liverpool and a Cypriot First Division title with APOEL. He had two stints in India after leaving for APOEL playing for Aalesund in between. He retired after playing a season with Delhi Dynamos as their Marquee Player.


    Brede Hangeland
    2016 was a bad year for the Norwegian football federation, not only losing Riise but also Brede Hangeland. The former Norwegian captain registered 91 caps for Norway and his honours include the Norweigian Cup with Viking, 2 Superligas with Copenhagen and that famous Runners Up medal in the 2010 Uefa cup final with Fulham after losing 2-1 to Athletico Madrid in Extra Time.


    Daniel Agger
    Another Scandinavian to retire in 2016 was Daniel Agger at the age of only 31. He spent his career at just two clubs, Brøndby and Liverpool. He was also captain of Denmark in the Euro 2012 competition. Agger spent 8 years with Liverpool and in that time became Vice Captain and club legend even having Liverpool's 'YNWA' tattooed on his knuckles. He won only a Community Shield and Carling Cup with Liverpool in those 8 years however he did win the Danish title with Brøndby in his first spell and was twice Danish Footballer of the Year.


    Sun Jihai
    Sun Jihai retired in December 2016 at the age of 39, and is considered by many a Manchester City Legend, this before the money started flowing. He spent a season in what we would call the Championship with Crystal Palace just before the turn of the century but linked up with Manchester City in 2002. He went on to play 130 games for them over 8 years and is known for being the first ever Chinese Player to play in the Premier League. His first season was spent getting City Promoted which is not his highest Honour. That would have to be being inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2015, even though that was just part of a deal to keep China sweet, still the best thing David Cameron has ever decided.


    Midfielders


    Kevin Nolan
    Now in all honesty I thought this Bolton and West Ham legend had retired a couple of years ago when he left West Ham however he managed to get a few games with Leyton Orient. He was also Player-Manager for Leyton Orient but now manages Notts County with Former Leeds and Manchester United Striker turn Central Midfielder Alan Smith as his Assistant. He played just under 300 games for Bolton though moved to Newcastle after criticism from fans though he only stayed on Tyneside for 2 years. With each club he helped them reach promotion to the Premier League. However those are his only major honours, and of those 3 he won the Championship just once with Newcastle. Perhaps this is the reason that he holds the unwanted Record of most Premier League Appearances without an International cap. However if his managerial career kicks off perhaps he will Manage the Three Lions. Football won't be the same without that celebration though.


    Steven Gerrard

    Probably the most famous casualty of 2016 in terms of Retirement. Gerrard retired last year after 18 years in football. 17 of those years spent at Liverpool. He was respected so much by his peers that Sami Hyypiä just gave him captaincy of Liverpool in 2003. Gerrard also spent 14 years in the England National Team and Captained them too. He is currently third on Englands all time appearance list notching up 114 caps for the 3 Lions. His last goal for England came in that crucial game for Qualification to the 2014 World Cup against Poland. Gerrard's honours include that famous Champions League win against Milan in 2005, 2 FA Cups and Uefa Cup. Gerrard has won many personal accolades too including England's Player of Year and the PFA Player of the Year. Gerrard is to take up a coaching role with Liverpool next season with many expecting him to become their manager. He took time out to be a Pundit.



    Mikel Arteta
    Mikel Arteta spent 17 years as a player having stints at Barcelona B, PSG, Rangers and Real Sociedad before moving to Everton in 2005 and then Arsenal in 2011. He spent over 272 games in the Premier League of which he will be most remembered for best. Despite being one of the best Premier League Midfielders in the mid naughties he never made the Spanish squad. After joining Arsenal he became Captain in a game that was dubbed the Second Coming of Henry- this in the FA Cup game against Leeds United. Despite his career spanning 17 years his only trophies came in his short time with Rangers (Winning the Double in 2003.) and 2 FA Cups and Community Shields with Arsenal. He is now a Coach under Pep at Manchester City.


    Luis Garcia
    Another Liverpool Cult Hero to have appeared to of hung up his boots in 2016. Although he has not officially retired he has been without club since leaving Central Coast Mariners in January 2016. The 38 year old will be most known for his time at Liverpool which was only 3 of his long 20 year career. He also played for numerous clubs in his native Spain including 2 short periods at Athletico Madrid and Barcelona. He also played in Greece with Panathinaikos as well as Puebla and UNAM. He turned down opportunities from the MLS to turn out for Athletico Kolkota in the inaugural Indian Super League Season as their Marquee Player. Thereby becoming the first team to lift the ISL trophy in 2014. His other honours include THAT Night in Istanbul with Liverpool winning a Champions League and Scoring the infamous Ghost Goal against Chelsea. He also helped Liverpool lift the FA Cup in 2006. He played 20 games for the Spanish National team though regrettably he did not win an international trophy but helped them be the Powerhouse they were
    during 2008-12. He is now a sportscaster for BeIn sports but he still looks match sharp when playing in friendlies for Liverpool, Spain and Barcelona.


    Strikers




    Darius Vassell
    Now here's a weird one. Vassell officially announced retirement in January 2016 however he had not played since 2012. The 5'7 striker started his career in his home city Birmingham with Aston Villa. He grew up supporting Aston Villa and played 162 games for them. It was with his time in Aston Villa colours that he had his England Career. He played for England between 2002-04 and scored on his debut against Holland with a Bicycle Kick. He was also in the 2002 World Cup Squad. His most memorable performance however would be missing a penalty in the 2004 Euros Quarter Final game against Portugal after coming on for Wayne Rooney who was injured by Ronaldo. Although never winning a major trophy he does currently hold the joint record with James Milner for  not being on the losing side when scoring. This happened 46 times. He also played over 100 games for Manchester City. He currently regards himself as a citizen and is fairly reclusive however he is releasing a book this year which will be interesting.


    Adrian Mutu
    Mutu played only 1 Season in the Premier League with Chelsea and is more commonly known for failing drugs tests then Scoring Goals however he did Score 10 goals in 27 games for Chelsea. He played for 13 teams and spells in Romania, India, France and Italy where he is most known playing for many teams including Juventus and Fiorentina. He was banned from the Romanian National team by likening the manager to Mr.Bean. This is a shame as one more goal would have meant that Mutu would have overtaken Hagi to have become the all time Romanian Goalscorer. They both have 35 international goals to their name. Fun Fact; he has appeared in a Snoop Dogg music video a year before becoming Pune City's Marquee Player in the Indian Super League.




    The Bench



    Goalkeeper


    Richard Wright
    Retired in 2016 after spending 4 years at Manchester City without playing a game. His only main appearances in his 21 years came at his first club Ipswich Town playing 240 games in his first spell though he also had spells with Arsenal, Everton and Southampton plus appearing on West Ham United's books though again not registering an appearance for the Hammers. He had 2 caps for England and helped Arsenal to Premier League and FA Cup Success in 2002.


    Defenders


    Alex
    Alex, nicknamed the Tank was given his European break by Chelsea in 2004. He played 86 caps for the blues after joining them from Santos. He spent his first 3 years in Europe on loan at PSV however. Other than AC Milan, his final club, Alex won a league title with every club he played for. He also won the 2007 Copa America with Brazil. He also won the Double with Chelsea in 2010. He had doubles with PSV and PSG too.


    Jonathon Woodgate
    Woodgate hung up his boots after 18 years of Football. 5 of those years were at Leeds United where he started, playing over 100 games for the Peacocks. After a season at Newcastle he earned a memorable transfer to Real Madrid though for all the wrong reasons. He scored an Own Goal and got a Red Card on his Debut and for this reason he played only 8 more games in 3 years. It seems unfair that his career with the Galacticos was smeared by one bad game. He helped Middlesbrough to promotion but his only cup is a league cup win with Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.


    Midfielders


    David Dunn
    Although not officially retired Dunn is the Blackburn Rovers U21 Assistant Coach. The 37 year old has had 18 years of professional football experience. He spent a total of 13 years with Blackburn with a spell at Birmingham in between. He also has 1 England Cap and finished his career with Oldham Athletic in 2016. His only honour is the 2002 English League Cup.


    Andy Reid
    Reid retired in July 2016 due to ongoing Injury problems. He played over 400 club games with 2 spells coming at Nottingham Forest. He is somewhat of an unlucky Charm to some clubs getting relegated with Charlton and Blackpool. He played 29 times for Ireland over 10 years scoring 4 goals.


    Strikers


    Bobby Zamora
    Some would rate Zamora over Vassell however personally Zamora's retirement was more highlighted by the press hence his place being on the bench. Both players however are cult heroes. Zamora is the only player on this list to have played non league football with Bath City. However he was picked up by Brighton and Hove Albion. After a prolific spell scoring 70 goals in 119 games he moved to Tottenham Hotspur though failed to score in his only season with the Spurs. He then moved to West Ham though didn't enjoy such great form however he managed to play 130 games for the Hammers. He continued playing in London with Fulham and QPR before ending his career with Brighton in 2016, where again he appeared to be prolific. He retired in December 2016 again due to Injury. He is known for getting clubs promoted and thats what he did with Brighton twice, getting them promoted from the equivalent of League 2 to the Championship helping them win the title. He also helped West Ham and QPR get promoted to the Premier League with the Play Offs. He managed 2 caps with England.


    Dani Osvaldo
    Pablo or Dani Osvaldo retired in 2016 at the age of just 30. He applied for Italian Nationality although being born in Argentina. He was known in his career for being controversial. His first controversy came when playing for Roma for punching teammate Lamela for being ignored when in open space. In Roma he also refused to turn out for the Coppa Italia awards for being played for only 15 minutes in the final. In all fairness he was their domestic top scorer of that season and Roma were losing the Coppa Italia when being subbed on. When with Southampton he was found guilty of violent conduct after touchline violence and by Southampton for a training ground bust up whilst serving his ban. Although he had these problems he signed for Serie A high flyers Juventus and Inter Milan as well as playing for Porto and Boca Juniors where he ended his career. He won the Serie B with Atalanta and the Serie A with Juventus and the Argentina Premier Division with Boca Juniors. Although he had offers from Chievo he chose to retire to focus on his music career. We will see how that goes.

    So that's the lot, though who could be the casualties of 2017... this is all speculation though here is a possible team of who will retire. The one obvious is Xabi Alonso who will retire with Bayern Munich at the end of this season. Next year I will review to see if my predictions are correct. Post yours in the comments below.

















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    Item Reviewed: Best Premier League Players that Retired in 2016 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Alfie Lumb
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