After Paris Saint-Germain F.C (PSG) got Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in their arsenal, the French club has been flying. One of the most attack minded squads, PSG are on the top of the French league and have lost only one game against the bottom of the league side Strasbourg. The club is also on the run to win the Champions League for the first time. The Neymar-led side showed they have goals throughout the squad with full-back Layvin Kurzawa even becoming the first defender in the modern competition to score a hat-trick. Yes, they are breaking records and are undoubtedly one of the most favourite Gen-Y team in the world this year.
Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are also on the run for trophies this year as are the English Premiership League sides Manchester City and Manchester United. But did you know that there was one team that could tame all of them? Only that eleven decided to retire in 2017.
Gianluigi Buffon: Goalkeeper (Italy)
Widely regarded by players, pundits and managers as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Buffon is a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006 and hanged his boots only after Italy failed to make it to the World Cup in Russia next year after their shock exit against Sweden. Known for his technical ability and decision making, Gigi is one of the best shot stoppers in the business.
Philipp Lahm: Defender (Germany)
The former Bayern Munich and Germany captain was the most technically gifted defenders to play the beautiful game. A World Cup winner in 2014, Lahm retired in May, 2017 and has won almost every possible award and recognition. He won 8 league titles with Bayern Munich and one Champions League trophy as well.
Frank Lampard: Midfield (England)
A box to box midfielder, Jose Mourinho called Frank Lampard the "best player in the world". Lampard scored 193 goals in 647 games for various clubs in his career. He also found the net 29 times playing for England. He retired from football in February after playing 611 games for the Blues. Frank won the Premier League title thrice and also bagged a Champions league title in 2013
Xabi Alonso: Defensive Midfield (Spain)
Part of Spain’s Golden 11 that dominated international football for eight continuous years, Alonso also won the World Cup in 2010. Xabi throughout his career has established himself as an iconic midfielder be it for Liverpool, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. He retired from the beautiful game in May. In his 114 international caps he scored 16 goals and won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid and Liverpool.
Xavi: Midfield (Spain)
Another World Cup winner from Spain, Xavi has always been the heart of skillful game play be it for his national team or his club FC Barcelona. Xavi will always be remembered for his accurate passes and for his ability to dominate possession. He retired from the game in May. In his 133 matches for the national team, Xavi scored 12 goals. His most important contribution though was to his club's four Champions League wins and eight La Liga titles.
Francesco Totti: Play Maker, Striker (Italy)
Playing for the Italian club AS Roma and the Italian national side, Totti is often referred to as Er Bimbo de Oro (The Golden Boy) or L'Ottavo Re di Roma (The Eighth King of Rome). A creative offensive play-maker Totti was known for his vision, technique, and goal scoring abilities. Also hung his boots last May after an emotional farewell from his fans at AS Roma. A World Cup winner with Italy in 2010, Totti is also the all time leading goal scorer in Italian Serie A with 250 goals.
Andrea Pirlo: Creative Midfield (Italy)
Remember the super creative chip penalty from the 2006 World Cup final? Well the man behind it was Andrea Pirlo. Known as the tactician, he was the brains behind the unstoppable Italian team that won the World Cup in 2006. He played club football for Juventus and was arguably football’s last artist in an era of athletes. He retired from the game in November.
Dirk Kuyt: Striker (Holland)
The Dutch player started his career as a striker but moved to become a winger, the position he played throughout his career. He was a talented player and was one of the favourite among his Liverpool fans. He retired in June. He was the top scorer for the year 2004-05 and was also named the footballer of the year in 2006.
Didier Drogba: Striker (Ivory Coast)
The king of Chelsea had hung his boots back in 2015 but continued to play some matches and was also assisting the club as a trainer. Took complete retirement from the game this May. Will always be remembered by Chelsea fans as the greatest to play for the club. Four time FIFA footballer of the year winner Drogba was also top scorer for both club and country for four years.
Tomáš Rosický: Winger (Czech Republic)
Rosický played international football for the Czech Republic. Not too familiar in the international football, he played club football for Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal. The former Arsenal star announced his retirement after succumbing to the rigours of professional football at the age of 37. He retired from the game this December after an 18 years of playing career.
Kaká: Attacking Midfielder (Brazil)Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite popularly known as Kaká is one of the finest footballers in the history of the game. In his career, he played for Brazil and spent the major amount of time playing club football with Santos and Real Madrid. He was named the best player in 2007 by FIFA and retired from the beautiful game in December. Winner of the 2002 World Cup, Kaká scored 29 goals for Brazil and a 149 goals for various clubs.