Football

Top five: Players who will be missed

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All good things must come to an end. This is also true in a football career as well, no matter how long the player has being playing for.

It hurts to think that so many glittering careers will be coming to an end soon, and we won't see them playing again.

Five players have been selected for this list, but there are many others who equally deserve to be here because of their contributions to football.

1. Gianluigi Buffon 

At the age of 35, Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon still may have a couple of years left in him. A highly consistent performer for both club and country, Buffon has racked up 138 appearances for Italy, and 686 club appearances with both Parma and Juventus.

His success has been recognised, and he is considered to be one of the most successful goalkeepers in history with individual accolades such as UEFA goalkeeper, Yashin Award, 8 time Serie A goalkeeper of the year, Best European Goalkeeper and many more.

The fact of the matter is that no one would like to see the back of such a key member of the squad who keeps the order of the dressing room, and is extremely vocal both on and off the pitch. His retirement is unpredictable, as he could decide to hang up his boots next year, or he could continue playing at the very highest level for the next 5 or 6 years.

2. Javier Zanetti

Like all the others on this list, Javier Zanetti has accomplished a lot during his career with Inter Milan. As an outfield player, Zanetti has managed an astonishing 145 appearances for Argentina scoring 5 times in that time frame.

In total, Zanetti has made 946 club appearances scoring 21 times, a statistic he would not be that proud of. However, he doesn't need to contribute to goals, as he was mainly utilised in defence and occasionally holding the midfield which he does astonishingly well, even to this day at the age of 40.

Recently in an interview Zanetti said that even after his injury he "never thought about retiring" and wanted to continue to play the game. Many people have often lauded his training methods, and his work ethic, and for this reason he is a favourite around the world. Let's hope Zanetti can carry on playing for as long as possible, and not retire any time soon.

3. Ryan Giggs

The Welsh Wizard Ryan Giggs just had to be on this list. At 40 years young, Giggs continues to play a vital role in United's present midfield, and currently is one of the if not the best midfielders at the club.

His ability to drift past players, and his dribbling skills have been showcased throughout the years, and Giggs still manages to do this, although not as much. It has been widely documented as to how Giggs keeps his fantastic shape, as he regularly performs yoga to ensure he can continue playing at the very highest level.

His dedication to the game has earned him praise across the world, and respect on the pitch, as he continues to play at the highest level in what is probably the most demanding league in the world.

4. Carles Puyol

Throughout his career, Puyol has displayed qualities of leadership, character, and discipline to the highest extent. Joining a list of other legends, Puyol has also managed a century of international appearances with Spain and plans to add more in the future.

Known for his commitment to the game and his strength, Puyol has been a role model for many young defenders who aspire to reach the very top because of his ability to play at the highest intensity for the full 90 minutes of a game, even if his team are cruising 4 or 5 nil.

He is also known to have a quiet life off the pitch, which is partly why he remains so focused. With a couple of injury problems in recent years, you'd think Puyol would be considering retirement soon, but not many football fans want him to.

5. Frank Lampard

At the age of 35, Lampard still has a lot to offer to both club and country. It came as a shock to many that Chelsea would not be entertaining the idea of extending Lampard's contract, a player who has continued to score ridiculous amounts of goals from midfield season after season.

However, it is thought that the arrival of Jose Mourinho played a key role in keeping Lampard at the club. Lampard is widely known for his ability to get forward and score goals consistently, and his fantastic training ethic.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp is quoted as saying that Frank is the second best trainer he's ever seen, with his father Frank Snr. being first. Remaining a key part to Chelsea and Mourinho's plans, Chelsea fans wouldn't like to see the back of Lampard until a long time.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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