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55 voters

Athletes Who Retired In 2021

Updated September 22, 2021 771 votes 55 voters 1.6k views126 items

List RulesVote up the best athletes who announced their retirement in 2021.

Which are the best of the athletes who decided to retire in 2021? This list ranks the best athletes who announced their retirement in 2021. While some athletes planned on retiring in 2021, a few unfortunate ones had to retire due to injury or other personal matters. In many cases, there are famous players who have decided to move on and explore other avenues in life. Other times, recently retired athletes feel that they have made the most out of their careers and want to go out at the top of their game.

Sports stars who retired in 2021 include NFL QB Drew Brees and MLB second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Check this list throughout the year for recent 2021 athlete retirements and vote up the athletes you were most sorry to see call it quits in 2021.

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  • 26

    Announced retirement on May 4, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Highest singles ranking: #16 (January 16, 2017)
    Highest doubles ranking: #1 (July 15, 2019)
    Career singles titles: 2
    Career doubles titles: 31
    Wimbledon doubles: Won (2019)
    Austalian Open double: Runner-Up (2020)
    Bronze Medalist in doubles at 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics

  • 27
    1
    1

    Borja Valero

    Mallorca (2007), West Bromwich Albion (2008-2011)

    PositionMidfielder

    Announced retirement on June 30, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Spanish Player of the Year (2010)
    Serie A Team of the Year (2013)
    UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season (2014, 2015)
    Coppa Italia runner-up (2014)
    UEFA Europa League runner-up (2020)

  • 28
    1
    0

    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    Boston Red Sox (2007–2012), New York Mets (2013–2014)

    PositionPitcher

    Announced retirement on July 7, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    World Series Champion (2007)

  • 29
    2
    0

    David Krejčí

    Boston Bruins

    PositionCenterman

    Announced retirement on July 30, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Stanley Cup Champion (2011)
    NHL Plus-Minus Award (2009, 2014)
    Golden Hockey Stick (2013 - Czech Republic)
    Boston Bruins Three Stars Awards (2010, 2014, 2016)
    Boston Bruins Elizabeth C. Dufresne Trophy (2014)
    Boston Bruins Seventh Player Award (2009)

    More David Krejčí 

    #109 of 190 The Best Current NHL Players#343 of 502 The Best NHL Players of All Time

  • 30
    2
    1

    Gio Gonzalez

    Oakland Athletics (2008–2011), Washington Nationals (2012–2018)

    PositionPitcher

    Announced retirement on March 25, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    2× All-Star (2011, 2012)
    NL wins leader (2012)
    Win/Loss: 131–101
    Earned run average: 3.70
    Strikeouts: 1,860

  • 31
    1
    1

    Gréta Arn

    WTA Tennis

    Announced retirement on January 11, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Highest ranking: #40 (16 May 2011)
    Career singles titles: 2
    French Open: Runner-up (2001, 2002, 2011, 2012)

  • 32
    1
    0

    Henrik Lundqvist

    New York Rangers

    PositionGoaltender

    Announced retirement on August 20, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    NHL All-Star (2009, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019)
    Vezina Trophy (2012)
    NHL All First Team (2012)
    NHL All Second Team (2013)
    Victoria Cup – New York Rangers (2008)
    John Halligan Good Guy Award (2008)
    Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (2006, 2018)
    NHL All-Rookie Team (2006)
    New York Rangers' MVP (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018)
    NHL All-Decade 2nd Team (2010s)
    IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships Best Goalender (2004)
    IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships All-Star Team (2004)
    Olympic All-Star Team (2014)
    IIHF All-Time Sweden Team (2020)

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    #53 of 80 Twins in Sports#10 of 99 The Top Hockey Goaltenders of All Time

  • 33
    1
    1

    Hilton

    Chapecoense (1996-1999), Paraná (2000-2001)

    PositionCentre back

    Announced retirement on July 1, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Ligue 1 Champion (2010, 2012)
    Ligue 1 Team of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012)
    Coupe de la Ligue Champion (2010, 2011)
    Trophée des Champions Champion (2010)
    UEFA Intertoto Cup Champion (2005)
    Campeonato Brasileiro Série B Champion (2000)

  • 34
    1
    0

    Ian Mahinmi

    San Antonio Spurs (2007-2010), Dallas Mavericks (2010-2012)

    PositionPower forward, Center

    Announced retirement on July 18, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    NBA champion (2011)
    NBA D-League All-Star (2008)
    All-NBA D-League First Team (2008)

    More Ian Mahinmi 

    #24 of 51 The Greatest African NBA Players of All Time#103 of 131 The Best European NBA Players of All Time

  • 35
    1
    0

    Jarrett Jack

    Portland Trail Blazers (2005 - 2008), Indiana Pacers (2008 - 2009)

    PositionPoint guard

    Announced retirement on August 7, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Fourteen-year NBA career
    10.8 points per game
    4.6 assists per game
    2.9 rebounds per game
    Second-team All-ACC (2005)
    Third-team All-ACC (2004)

    More Jarrett Jack 

    #143 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History#6 of 27 The Greatest Georgia Tech Basketball Players of All Time

  • 36
    2
    2

    Jay Bouwmeester

    Florida Panthers (2002-2009), Calgary Flames (2010-2013)

    PositionDefenseman

    Announced retirement on January 11, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    NHL All-Rookie Team (2003)
    NHL All Star (2007, 2009)
    Stanley Cup Champion (2019)
    Ice Hockey World Championships - Gold Medal (2003)
    World Cup of Hockey - Gold Medal (2004, 2016)

  • 37
    2
    0

    Jay Bruce

    Cincinnati Reds (2008–2016), New York Mets (2016–2017)

    PositionRight fielder

    Announced retirement on April 18, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    3× All-Star (2011, 2012, 2016)
    2× Silver Slugger Award (2012, 2013)
    319 Career Home Runs

  • 38
    1
    2

    Jeff Larentowicz

    New England Revolution (2005-2009), Colorado Rapids (2010-2012)

    PositionMidfielder

    Announced retirement on April 5, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    MLS Cup Champion (2010, 2018)
    Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champion (2007, 2019)
    North American SuperLiga Champion (2008)
    Campeones Cup Champion (2019)

    More 

    #44 of 188 The Best Soccer Players from the United States of America#14 of 33 The Best Atlanta United FC Players In MLS History

  • 39
    1
    2

    Jerry Blevins

    Oakland Athletics (2007–2013), Washington Nationals (2014)

    PositionRelief pitcher, Pitcher

    Announced retirement on April 27, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Win/Loss record: 30–13
    Earned run average: 3.54
    Strikeouts: 508

  • 40
    2
    2

    Jimmy Howard

    Detroit Red Wings (2007-2020)

    PositionGoaltender

    Announced retirement on January 28, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Calder Memorial Trophy Runner-Up (2010)
    NHL All-Rookie Team (2010)
    NHL All-Star (2012, 2015, 2019)

  • 41
    2
    1

    Johnathan Joseph

    Cincinnati Bengals (2006–2010), Houston Texans (2011–2019)

    PositionCornerback

    Announced retirement on June 10, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    2× Pro Bowl (2011, 2012)
    2× Second-team All-Pro (2011, 2015)

  • 42
    1
    1

    Jordan Zimmerman

    Washington Nationals (2009–2015), Detroit Tigers (2016–2020)

    PositionPitcher

    Announced retirement on May 11, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    2× All-Star (2013, 2014)
    NL wins leader (2013)
    Pitched a no-hitter on September 28, 2014
    Strikeouts: 1,271

  • 43
    0
    0

    J. J. Redick

    Orlando Magic (2006-2013), Milwaukee Bucks (2013)

    PositionShooting guard

    Announced retirement on September 21, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    NBA Finals runnerup (2009)
    Fifteen year NBA career
    Top Ten All Time in free throw shooting percentage
    15th All Time in 3-pointers made
    17th All Time in 3-point shooting percentage

    More J. J. Redick 

    #37 of 232 The Best White Players in NBA History#48 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

  • 44
    5
    0

    LaMarcus Aldridge

    Portland Trailblazers (2006-2015), San Antonio Spurs (2015-2021)

    PositionPower forward

    Announced retirement on April 15, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    7× NBA All-Star (2012–2016, 2018, 2019)
    2× All-NBA Second Team (2015, 2018)
    3× All-NBA Third Team (2011, 2014, 2016)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (2007)

    More LaMarcus Aldridge 

    #152 of 289 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#57 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

  • 45
    1
    0

    Antonio Valencia

    Ecuador National Team, El Nacional (2003-05)

    PositionRight winger

    Announced retirement on May 12, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Alan Hardaker Trophy: 2010
    PFA Team of the Year: 2009–10 Premier League
    Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 2011–12
    Manchester United Players' Player of the Year: 2011–12, 2016–17
    Manchester United Goal of the Year: 2011–12
    UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2016–17
    Premier League Goal of the Month: September 2017
    Copa Ecuador: 2019
    Premier League: 2010–11, 2012–13
    FA Cup: 2015–16
    EFL Cup: 2009–10, 2016–17
    FA Community Shield: 2010, 2013, 2016
    UEFA Europa League: 2016–17

    More Antonio Valencia 

    #26 of 165 Who's the Best Player in the Premier League?#27 of 102 Best Manchester United Players of All Time, Ranked

  • 46
    1
    2

    Luis Robles

    1. FC Kaiserslautern (2007-2010), Karlsruher SC (2010-2012)

    PositionGoalkeeper

    Announced retirement on January 6, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    2. Bundesliga Champion (2010)
    MLS Supporters' Shield (2013, 2015, 2018)
    MLS Goalkeeper of the Year (2015)

  • 47

    Announced retirement on June 2, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    6 Career Titles
    Highest ranking: #24 (27 April 2015)
    Winner French Open boys' singles competition (2006)
    3rd at Wimbledon (2012)
     

  • 48
    2
    2

    Mikko Koivu

    Minnesota Wild (2005-2020), Columbus Blue Jackets (2021)

    PositionCenterman

    Announced retirement on February 9, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Men's World Ice Hockey Championships - Gold Medal (2011)
    NHL All Star (2012)
    Selke Trophy Finalist (2017)
     

  • 49
    1
    1

    Alexandr Dolgopolov

    ATP Tour

    Announced retirement on May 1, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    Highest ranking: #13 (16 January 2012)
    Career singles titles: 3
    Career doubles titles: 1
    French Open: 4th Place (2010, 2011)
    Wimbledon: 4th Place (2013, 2014)
     

  • 50
    2
    0

    Pekka Rinne

    Nashville Predators (2002-2021)

    PositionGoaltender

    Announced retirement on July 13, 2021

    Career Achievements:
    NHL All-Star (2009, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019)
    NHL Young Stars (2009)
    Rookie of the Month (2009)
    NHL First All-Star Team (2018)
    NHL Second All-Star Team (2011)
    Patrick Roy Award (Best Goalie - 2013)
    Vezina Trophy (2018)
    NHL Fan Choice Award (Goal of the Year - 2020)
    King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2021)