It takes courage to admit that the body no longer reacts “as before” to brain stress. And in sports, age really does matter. After thirty years, the ball runs fast and “expert” players already know where this ball will end up. The problem, however, is getting there before the happy, super-trained twenty-year-olds do.

A (fairly) little due to physical fatigue and a little due to frustration even at the end of these world championships and different ones.big', they decided to say the word 'enough', after a lifetime of training every day. This is the case of Leonard Bonucci, the black and white flag and the national team with two small passes for Milan and, last but not least, Fenerbache. A season in Türkiye before hanging up the fateful “shoes”. He returns to Italy, home, with the consciousness of having succeeded in “leaving his mark”. And this is precisely what every great athlete asks of himself in order to leave the competitive field for good. And another “big one”, this time in Spain, did the same: Tony Kroos announced – not without surprise – that he wanted to throw in the towel, say goodbye to the jersey worn for the last 10 years, that of Real Madrid. Big party for him at the Bernabeu. He will still play the final of the Champions League and the European Championships with “his” Germany, so it will be a definitive stop.

Toni Kroos of Real Madrid greets fans after the EA Sports LaLiga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on May 25, 2024 in Madrid, Spain Getty

Toni Kroos of Real Madrid greets fans after the EA Sports LaLiga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Betis at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on May 25, 2024 in Madrid, Spain

Back in Italy, there is another excellent “greeting”, that of Claudio Ranieri, coaching profession. The kind and sagacious coach, the one who only raised his voice on the pitch, decided that his grandchildren are now more important than the training ground and – with emotion – thanked Cagliari and their supporters in an extraordinary collective ovation during the last championship match against Fiorentine. He too has managed to write beautiful pages of history between the football of yesterday and that of today.

The list of (Italian) players who have chosen to leave football is physiologically long, it goes from Gonzalo Berghessio (39 years old, formerly of Catania and Sampdoria) Federico Piovaccari (39 years old, ex Samp, Brescia, Novara and Grosseto) e Paolo Farago (formerly Como) who for his part gave up at the age of 30 due to constant injuries. In Europe there are also Lucas Biglia (38 years old, formerly of Lazio and Milan), Marouane Fellaini (36 years old, ex Everton and Manchester United) e Joe Hart (37 years old, ex Turin and Manchester City).

Claudio Ranieri gettyimages

Claudio Ranieri

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