Lacing Up Again: Players Who Returned From Retirement

It’s been eight years since Juventus legend Pavel Nedved decided to hang up his boots but recently he’s decided to come out of retirement to help out his former youth side FK Skalna. Nedved, however, is not the only former great to lace up again.

Henrik Larsson

At the mere age of 41, the former Celtic superstar came out of retirement to play for Hogaborg, a Swedish fourth division side. Here he played alongside his 15-year-old son Jordan Larsson. His final game was for Helsinborg in a 7-1 win in a friendly against IFK Malmo where he scored in the 89th minute.

Paul Scholes

A player with celestial status in Manchester (the red half anyway) played 676 games for the Red Devils and decided to call it a day at the end of the 2010/11 season. He then came out of retirement due to an injury crisis at Manchester United in January 2012 and came on in a 3-2 FA Cup win against rivals Man City. In May 2013 Scholes announced his second and final retirement and finally hung up his boots after making his 499th league appearance.

Jens Lehmann

Lehmann was part of the unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ team of 2003/04 season and saved Paul Scholes’ penalty in the 2005 FA Cup final to help Arsenal win the trophy. He left north London in 2008 for Stuttgart and retired in 2010. He returned to Arsenal, however, in 2011 when the Arsenal goalkeepers were struck by injury. He only made one appearance and retired again after. Who doesn’t love a bit of nostalgia?


One of a long list of legends to come out of Brazil he played for the national team 60 times between 1979-1986. He, unexpectedly, came out of retirement in 2004 to make a single appearance for non-league Yorkshire side Garforth Town. He came on with twelve minutes to go against Tadcaster Albion in the Northern Counties East Football League at the age of 50. That was his last game of football and sadly died in 2011.

Marc Overmars

Once a Premier League and FA Cup winner with Arsenal in 1998 injury forced him to retire in 2008. While working as general manager of Dutch second-tier side Go Ahead Eagles he put on his boots again to help the side where he began his career. He then retired a year later and is not working as sporting director at Ajax.

Stephen Carr

Having made 226 senior appearances for Tottenham Hotspur between 1993-2004 he moved to Newcastle. After four years at the club making 78 appearances and scoring once he was released and retired after failing to find a suitable club. In February 2009 he started training with Birmingham City as he looked to come out of retirement and was offered a one-month contract that led to him staying until 2013. After sustaining a knee injury he announced his second retirement from football.


The Brazilian legend had a playing career that spanned 23 years and (supposedly) 1000 goals. He announced his retirement in 2008 at the age of 42 but came out of retirement in 2009 to play for Rio de Janeiro side America as his late father had wished that he would play for them. He came on twice as a substitute and didn’t score but helped them to win the title of the second division of the Carioca Championship.

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