Former clubs: Osasuna (Spain), Cartagonova (Spain), Sabadell (Spain), Celta (Spain), Eibar (Spain), Recreativo (Spain), Albacete (Spain), Arsenal (England), West Ham (England) and Watford (England). // Body of work: The hardest position to fill in this XI since Sao Paolo legend Rogerio Ceni keeps deciding to un-retire, we’ll give the nod in goal to Almunia, who at least won an FA Cup and was a Champions League runners-up at Arsenal… before he took over for Jens Lehmann as the starter.
Getty ImagesBryn Lennon
Javier Zanetti (Argentina, defender)
Former clubs: Talleres (Argentina), Banfield (Argentina) and Internazionale (Italy). // Body of work: Zanetti stripped on the Nerrazurri kit an incredible 862 times in 19 seasons. His powerful, tireless runs down the right flank helped Inter win five Serie A titles and the 2010 Champions League (as part of a treble under Jose Mourinho). El Tractor is also Argentina’s most capped player ever with 145 appearances.
Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani
Carles Puyol (Spain, defender)
Former clubs: Barcelona (Spain). // Body of work: Name a title Puyol hasn’t won. That’s right, you can’t. El Tiburón, well regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, won a World Cup and European championship with Spain, and racked up every trophy available with Barcelona; La Liga (6x), Copa del Rey (3x), Champions League (3x), Club World Cup (2x), UEFA Super Cup (2x) and Spanish Super Cup (6x).
Getty ImagesJohn Berry
Gabriel Heinze (Argentina, defender)
Former clubs: Newell's Old Boys (Argentina), Valladolid (Spain), Sporting CP (Portugal), Paris Saint-Germain (France), Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (Spain), Marseille (France) and Roma (Italy). // Body of work: After first making a name for himself in Europe at PSG, Heinze went on to win league titles in three different countries; the Premier League with Manchester United, La Liga with Real Madrid and Ligue 1 with Marseille. Though a major international title eluded him, Heinze did represent Argentina 72 times, including two World Cups and Copa Americas.
Getty ImagesTullio M. Puglia
Eric Abidal (France, defender)
Former clubs: Lyon Duchere (France), Monaco (France), Lille (France), Lyon (France), Barcelona (Spain), Monaco (France), Olympiakos (Greece). // Body of work: Abidal won an astonishing 21 career titles in his career, 15 as part of Barcelona’s golden generation. The French fullback will always be remembered for his battle with a liver disease, and getting a tumor removed in March 2011 only to play the full 90 minutes in the Champions League final win over Man United two months later. He made a second return to the pitch after requiring a liver transplant the following year.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
Ryan Giggs (Wales, midfielder)
Former clubs: Manchester United (England). // Body of work: Giggs retired in May as the most decorated player in British football history. Spending over two decades with Manchester United, Giggs won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions Leagues, just for starters. Giggs also holds the record for the most assists in Premier League history, with 271.
AFP/Getty ImagesPAUL ELLIS
Clarence Seedorf (Netherlands, midfielder)
Former clubs: Ajax (Netherlands), Sampdoria (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), Internazionale (Italy), AC Milan (Italy) and Botafogo (Brazil). // Body of work: Seedorf had every trait of a great player. Physically strong and gifted with a powerful shot, yet elegant and creative, Seedorf could play all over the pitch. He’s one of the most successful Champions League player ever, winning it four times and becoming the first to do so with three different clubs (Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan).
LatinContent/Getty ImagesBuda Mendes/STF
Juan Sebastian Veron (Argentina, midfielder)
Former clubs: Estudiantes (Argentina), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Sampdoria (Italy), Parma (Italy), Lazio (Italy), Manchester United (England), Chelsea (England), Internazionale (Italy) and Brandsen (Argentina). // Body of work: Once upon a time, Veron was the most expensive Premier League import ever. Sure, he didn’t exactly pan out at Man United (or at Chelsea), but in his prime few midfielders were feared more than La Brujita. Veron’s best years came in Serie A, where he won two Scudettos, three Coppa Italias and a UEFA Cup with Lazio, Parma and Inter.
LatinContent/Getty ImagesGabriel Rossi/STF
Landon Donovan (United States, midfielder)
Former clubs: Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), San Jose Earthquakes (United States), Los Angeles Galaxy (United States), Bayern Munich (Germany) and Everton (England). // Body of work: Retiring as the all-time leader in goals and assists for both the U.S. national team and Major League Soccer, Donovan has to go down as the greatest American soccer player to date. Even better, LD achieved the rare feat to go out on top after winning his sixth MLS Cup, another record.
Getty ImagesVictor Decolongon
Thierry Henry (France, forward)
Former clubs: Monaco (France), Juventus (Italy), Arsenal (England), Barcelona (Spain) and New York Red Bulls (United States). // Body of work: Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer tallied 228 goals in 377 games in North London, cementing his status as an all-time Premier League great. Henry also won two La Liga titles and the Champions League with Barcelona, a World Cup and European Championship with France, and passed Michel Platini as his nation’s top scorer. He then served as one of Major League Soccer’s main attractions for five years in New York.
Getty ImagesJim Rogash
Rivaldo (Brazil, forward)
Former cliubs: Santa Cruz (Brazil), Mogi Mirim (Brazil), Corinthians (Brazil), Palmeiras (Brazil), Deportivo La Coruna (Brazil), Barcelona (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Cruzeiro (Brazil), Olympiakos (Greece), AEK Athens (Greece), FC Bunyodkor (Uzbekistan), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Kabuscorp (Angola) and Sao Caetano (Brazil). // Body of work: Before there was Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, there was Rivaldo. Wowing fans with his technical skill and deadly free kicks, Rivaldo is the only member of our Retired XI to win the Ballon d’Or, in 1999. His other achievements include a World Cup (2002) and Copa America (1999) triumph with Brazil, the 2003 Champions League with Milan and a couple La Liga titles with Barcelona.