With reports suggesting that Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas may never play football again, here are 10 stars whose careers ended too soon, including two former Kaizer Chiefs players.
Click through the gallery above to see 10 stars who were forced to retire prematurely.
Earlier this month, the footballing world was shaken when Spain and Los Blancos icon Casillas collapsed during a training session with FC Porto. It was later reported that the 38-year-old suffered a heart attack, which could mean he will never able to play professional football again.
The goalkeeper has asked for peace as he decides on his playing future, but may decide to hang up his boots if returning to the field could be life-threatening.
Unfortunately, this sort of tragedy is something we have seen before. Former Netherlands and AC Milan superstar Marco van Basten hung up his boots at just 28 years old after many horrible injury problems. To this day, the striker is considered by many to be the greatest Dutch player of all time.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red was forced to call time on his career in 2008 due to a heart condition. The Spaniard even fainted during a match for Los Blancos, resulting in voluntarily retirement at just 25 years old.
Like De La Red, former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba was plagued with a similar heart issue, which saw him call an end to his career in 2012.
In 2014, former Amakhosi left-back Jimmy Jambo announced he would be retiring after suffering a horrendous knee injury in a match against Bidvest Wits during the 2012/13 season. Jambo was set for a return to the field, but never achieved his goal.
We witnessed another devastating early retirement earlier this year at Chiefs, when Mzansi youngster Wiseman Meyiwa was forced to close his chapter with the sport he loved after he sustained serious injuries in a car accident.
Can you recall any other stars who were forced into early retirement? Let us know in the comments section below.