With the sad news that Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo’s career has ended prematurely through injury in the same year as Kaizer Chiefs teenager Wiseman Meyiwa had to hang up his boots, here are other footballers, who suffered a similar fate.
Click through the gallery above to see 14 stars who were forced to retire early!
Khuzwayo’s premature retirement was announced earlier on Wednesday due to a recurring ankle problem, which ended his career at only 29 years of age.
But the retired Bucs goalkeeper is not the only player, who has had to make this touch decision into early retirement from football. Earlier this year, Chiefs teenager Wiseman Meyiwa was forced to walk away from the game at the tender age of just 19 because of injuries sustained in a car accident.
Last year, Ryan Mason had to retire after suffering a fractured skull in January 2017. Despite prolonged treatment, the former Tottenham Hotspur starlet could not return to the professional game.
Back in 2011, former FC Barcelona and Real Madrid striker Ronaldo Nazario finally hung up his boots after a career, which was rattled by injuries. The Brazilian striker ended his career after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. He was already diagnosed with the condition, which slows down metabolism and causes weight gain in 2007 but continued to play for four years.
Another of football’s greats, who had to retire early, is Marco van Basten. The Dutchman enjoyed widespread success with his boyhood club Ajax Amsterdam and Serie A giants AC Milan before having to retire with 276 goals in 373 games following a recurring ankle injury – similar to Khuzwayo.
You can see more players who had to retire due to injuries in the gallery above and let us know which of those early retirements has shocked you the most!