In 2014, we said goodbye to one of the greatest footballers of all time, Brazilian genius Rivaldo, who announced his retirement from the game in an interview with FC Barcelona soon before his 42nd birthday.
Back then, the former Barcelona great shared the news on Instagram, with his poignant post creating lumps in throats throughout the world as his 24-year career came to an end!
“With tears in my eyes today I would like first to thank God, my family and all the support, the affection that I received during those 24 years as a player.
“Today I communicate to all my fans in the world, my history as a player came to the end. Just I have to thank the lovely career I have built over these years.
“There were many obstacles, challenges, waivers, longings, disappointments, but were much greater joys, achievements, growth, change. Sometimes teaching other learning but never lost my focus, always with dedication, determination and direction of God.”
The fact that the former FIFA World Player of the Year was still playing professionally in his 40s says a lot; there aren’t enough superlatives in English to express his excellence.
Despite the fact that his hip isn’t as solid and his feet aren’t as swift as they were in his peak, he’s spent the final few years of his career dancing circles around even the sprightliest of Brazilian players.
Rivaldo’s extraordinary rags to riches story is inspiring, and it captures the dedicated, concentrated, and passionate manner he used to play the game.
After signing his first professional contract at just 16 years of age for Paulistano, Rivaldo moved on to 14 different clubs and scored over 350 goals in his extraordinary career.
Rivaldo was a constant for Barcelona from 1997 to 2002, inspiring two La Liga victories and earning numerous individual awards, but it was at the World Cup in 2002 that the midfielder really revealed his class.
Rivaldo thrilled the globe in Japan and South Korea alongside Ronaldinho and Ronaldo and guided Brazil to their fifth and final World Cup with five goals and endless top-tier performances.
His retirement signified the end of an era, but because of his incredible contribution to football, he can now sit with his talented feet up and declare, “work done!”