4 iconic players who took a break from soccer

We tell you the most important cases of those who decided to suspend their sports career.

Samir Nasri and Juan Román Riquelme

These are the most important athletes on the world football scene who paused their careers. / Photos: Flickr / Brad Tutterow, Wikimedia / Chivista

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: 4 emblemáticos jugadores que se tomaron una pausa del fútbol

The trajectory of footballers is usually quite atypical. Generally, we observe that they have, approximately, 15 years working continuously. Then, when they decide to retire, they have to know what to do with their life: whether to continue linked to the sports field (being coaches, for example) or to leave the fields to find another form of work.

However, there are some examples that do not strictly comply with these conditions. Recently, the striker who is the idol of Rosario Central from Argentina, Marco Ruben, mentioned that he is taking "a break" from his career. According to the media La Nación, he will not play for the rest of the year.

That is, he did not confirm his final retirement or the search for a new destination, he only mentioned that he will move away from the courts during this time. Given this situation, we decided to find out what are the other examples of footballers who decided to take "a break" from their football activities.

1. Daniel Osvaldo

One of the most eccentric careers experienced by a soccer player. The Argentine striker, nationalized Italian, had returned to Boca Juniors in 2016 after a stint at Porto. However, the technical director of the xeneize team, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, decided to fire him after a conflict in which he was found smoking in the locker room.

From that moment on, his career was oriented towards the world of music. The media of La Nación highlighted the "new life of Daniel Osvaldo", in which he became the singer of a rock band known as Barrio Viejo, which has a rock style, moving away from football. 

However, it was clear that he would be interested in football again. This same year, he decided to put on his boots again and become part of Banfield de la Argentina, after 3 years of inactivity in which he had never formalized his retirement. However, the specialized media of TyC Sports stressed that he would not continue in the club, after not participating in the Zoom training of the institution. Everything seems to indicate that he will return to the world of music.

2. Samir Nasri

Do you remember Samir Nasri? This is a French footballer of Algerian descent, who played as an attacking midfielder and was characterized by having very good ball handling, something that allowed him to play for several years in teams of the stature of Arsenal or Manchester City.

However, he is currently without a team and his future is unknown. According to what As highlights, he was one of the biggest prospects in French football and left "his mark on England." However, his career began to fall apart after he was found doping.

El Medio de El Mundo highlights that in 2018 they raised his sanction for doping from 6 to 18 months, after he received an intravenous vitamin transfusion, which made him leave Antalyaspor in Turkey. Later, he returned to West Ham in England and Anderlecht in Belgium, although he could never have the same level after the break they forced him to take.

Also read: This is how European football was programmed for 2020-21

3. Juan Roman Riquelme

Riquelme is considered by many to be the greatest idol in the history of Boca Juniors. Despite the love for his shirt and his audience, the story with the blue and gold shirt was not always entirely "normal", since there were several twists and turns during his career.

The clearest example was given in the middle of the year 2012, after Boca reached the final of the Copa Libertadores that year, losing it against Corinthians. There, the star confirmed before the game that he was leaving the club, since, according to the Infobae media, he "felt empty."

During that hiatus, which Riquelme did not confirm as a retirement, there were various rumors of his return to La Bombonera. So much so that, after the departure of the previous coach, Julio César Falcioni, and with the return of Carlos Bianchi to the institution, he decided to return to Boca, as the Télam media commented. Despite this, he did not end up retiring from the club, since he did so with Argentinos Juniors, in 2014.

4. Diego Armando Maradona

One of the most important players in the history of football, who also had a completely exotic and atypical career. After winning the 1986 World Cup in Mexico and having a fruitful stage in the Italian Napoli, the El Tiempo website highlights that there was a case of doping that took him away from the courts for 15 months.

After that, he decided to head to Spain and wear the Sevilla shirt, something he did between 1992 and 1993. However, the conflicts would not end there. After leaving that club, he decided to return to Argentina to play for Newell's Old Boys in Rosario, preparing for the 1994 World Cup in the United States … in which he found doping again.

However, Maradona knew he wanted to say goodbye playing for Boca Juniors. Therefore, he had to serve a 15-month suspension, but he did not want to completely move away from the courts before that sanction. Against all odds, he became technical director of Mandiyú de Corrientes and Racing Club, according to the newspaper Diario Uno. After some ups and downs in that aspect, he returned to Boca as a player in 1995 and in 1997 he would put an end to one of the strangest and most interesting careers in history.

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