Xabi Alonso is the latest legend to announce his intention to retire this year. We're only into March and already a number of familiar faces have decided to hang up their cleats. In fact, some already have and are into their pundit careers. Will more follow in their footsteps?
If it seems like Totti has been around forever, that's because he pretty much has. As a Roma lifer, Totti signed a one-year contract last summer and intends to retire once it's played out. Totti opted to end his career after a remarkable quarter-century with Roma. That's right, 25 years for Totti.
"It's a fantastic feeling," Totti told the team's website. "I always wanted to end my career having only worn one shirt - the Roma one - and I think I earned it."
Agreed, Totti. He won't leave the club entirely, though. He's already agreed to join Roma's technical board. He'll leave the club with one Serie A title as a player, but with the same ferocious desire to win in his new role.
Getty ImagesPaolo Bruno
After mulling over options and offers to continue his career, Lampard officially called it quits in February 2017. His career started in West Ham, but he flourished in Chelsea during his 13-year run with the club. A Champions League trophy and three Premier League titles are among the many honors he collected with the Blues.
"I'm immensely proud of the trophies I've won, of representing my country over 100 times and of scoring more than 300 career goals," Lampard wrote on Instagram.
Lampard continued his career with a short-term contract with Manchester City and then in MLS with NYCFC. He said he intends to pursue coaching while also working as a pundit for Sky Sports.
Lahm is another "lifer," having played his entire career as a member of Bayern Munich. He cut his teeth in the Bundesliga while on loan at Stuttgart, but he's Bayern through and through. One of the best fullbacks ever, Lahm also exhibited an impressive amount of versatility. A 7-time Bundesliga winner and Champions League title-winner, Lahm and Bayern are gunning to add to those trophy counts.
"My leadership style is in the way I give my best every day, in every training session and every match. I believe I can do this until the end of the season but not beyond then. It is clear to me I will stop," Lahm said the Guardian.
Lahm's future plans are undecided, but he said the Sporting Director position at Bayern wasn't the best fit for the time being. Something tells me that whatever he winds up doing, he'll be excellent at it.
Alonso is the most recent of the legends to announce his departure. The midfielder made his senior debut in 2000 with Real Sociedad, then made the move to England with Liverpool and won the Champions League. He picked up a La Liga title and another UCL trophy during a 5-year stint with Real Madrid. Alonso then joined German powerhouse Bayern Munich, where he won two Bundesliga titles.
"Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game." Alonso wrote in a brief announcement on Twitter.
Given the timeliness of the midfielder's departure, his future plans are unknown. The consummate professional, he probably will keep his focus on winning more titles in his final ride with Bayern.