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4 players who made legends retire

Danny Hart
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Tottenham Hotspur v Los Angeles Galaxy
Gareth Bale was unstoppable during his final season with Tottenham

The average career span of a professional footballer is around 18 years, with most players turning pro at the age of 18 before calling it quits by the time they turn 36.

Sometimes injury forces a player to end their career much earlier than they would have liked, as we recently saw with Ryan Mason, but the majority of players decide to retire in their mid-30s for the simple reason that they can no longer keep up with the pace of the game.

In this article, we take a look at four legends from the Premier League era and reveal which younger players had a part to play in their ultimate decision to retire.

#4 Paul Scholes & Mousa Dembele/Gareth Bale

Manchester United Legends v Real Madrid Legends
Paul Scholes initially retired in 2011

The inspiration for this article came from a brilliant interview that Paul Scholes gave to BT Sport last week, in which he explained his decision to come out of retirement in 2012 and revealed the exact moment that he wished he never re-signed with Manchester United for the 2012-13 season.

The Red Devils legend said he wished he stopped playing at the end of 2011-12, just four months after he returned, and recalled a match against Tottenham in September 2012 when he was unable to keep up with Mousa Dembele and Gareth Bale.

"I know they cruise past everybody, but I was watching them thinking I can’t do this anymore," said Scholes, who made 718 appearances during his United career.

He added that he wanted to retire early on that season but he stayed on until the end of the campaign to avoid embarrassment.

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