There’s possibly no harder decision in a professional player’s life, regardless of sport, than the decision to retire. Whether forced by injury, time, or circumstance — the exceptions who choose to retire of their own accord are generally looked upon with suspicion — it’s rarely easy. For most, it is the only thing they have known for the first three-four decades of their lives. What may come next is new and different and unknown. And the unknown is scary.
Some of the world’s most famous have had their battles in this regard. Think of Michael Jordan or Mario Lemieux or George Foreman or Brett Favre or Pelé — some more successful in their unretirements than others. It’s a serious issue with plenty of psychological, physiological, and financial angles and implications to it, though on a lighter note, here’s an all-time great parody of Favre’s refusal to accept reality, about trying to stay in the spotlight for just a bit longer.
The players themselves are of course not the only factor, and in football, the situation can be even more convoluted with plenty of lower level opportunities available to players no longer deemed good enough for the top tier. We’ve seen this happen recently with Drogba, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Essien, just to name a few. It wouldn’t be too shocking to see John Terry follow in their footsteps, even at the risk of breaking his promise to fans about not playing for another Premier League team.
While Terry has been linked with moves to the USA, China, or the Middle East, he’s also been linked with various Premier League clubs including Bournemouth, West Brom, and Swansea City. In fact, Swans boss and former Chelsea coach Paul Clement (assisted by former Chelsea great Claude Makélélé) is set to sound out JT over a potential move this summer, even as the Captain contemplates retirement.
“I'm not sure [if there’s a genuine possibility]. I will have a conversation with him. I've known him a long time. I don't know what his thinking is, whether he's going to carry on first of all - there's been talk in the media that it's going to be his last game. Whether he'll go on here in the Premier League or abroad, that's all unsure at the moment.”
-Paul Clement; source: Sky
There’s nothing definitive in that statement, but there’s possible intent. Terry certainly has some tough decisions to make in the next few weeks.