11 legends who retired in 2019

The end of a glorious footballing era, 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger is among 10 legendary figures to retire from the game in 2019.

Schweinsteiger, 35, called time on his glittering career on Tuesday after Chicago Fire missed out on the MLS play-offs.

But the disappointing ending and ill-fated spell at Manchester United cannot erase the iconic career he forged with the Germany national team and Bayern Munich.

The dominant midfielder made 500 appearances and won eight Bundesliga titles as well as the Champions League with the Bundesliga giants and on the international stage, he won the World Cup in Brazil.

With 121 appearances for Die Mannschaft, the former captain is Germany’s fourth-most capped player of all time but he's not the only legend to bid farewell to the beautiful game this year.

Dutch trio, Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben that formed the core of the Netherlands attack for over a decade and starred en route to the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa - all hung up their boots at the end of the 2018/19 season.

Premier League legends Patrice Evra, Petr Cech and Ashley Cole, who starred for Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea respectively are among the other high-profile names.

Former FC Barcelona captain Xavi, who won 31 major titles for the Blaugrana and Spain is one of the few that's move straight into management since making his decision this year.

The Al Sadd head coach who has been tipped as a future coach for the Spanish giants joined compatriot Fernando Torres, who ended his career in Japan with Sagan Tosu.

Scroll through the gallery to see all 11 legends who defined an incredible football era that's retired in 2019

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