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In Pictures: Thank You and Goodbye
Al Jazeera looks at the leading sports stars who decided to retire in 2012.
Batsman Ricky Ponting played his last international match against South Africa in November 2012. The former Australian captain is the second highest run scorer in history and guided his team to 48 Test wins. However, Ponting isn(***)t the only familiar sporting face to retire in 2012...
5 Dec 2012
Michael Schumacher loves retiring so much he did it twice. The first time was in 2006 when he was racing for Ferrari. In 2010, the seven-time World Champion returned to Formula One with Mercedes but after two unsuccessful seasons decided to hang up his racing boots once more. For good this time? Most likely
Yes, animals retire too. And what an animal Frankel is. The thoroughbred racehorse retired after a 14-race unbeaten run that saw him proclaimed one of the greatest. Frankel now lives happily at Banstead Manor Stud in Suffolk and commands a stud fee of over $200,000
If you are lucky you get to choose when you retire. But sadly it wasn(***)t the case for this young man. At 24, Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba has already retired after suffering an almost fatal heart-attack during a match. The doctors said he will never play football again but after coming back from the dead, perhaps we shouldn(***)t rule it out entirely
It is fair to say that despite his poor form and poor relationship with Kevin Pietersen, few saw this retirement coming. After all he was the man who led England to the number one Test ranking. But after 100 Tests he(***)d had enough and as a token of appreciation, his teammates bought him 100 bottles of wine. (***)I think that will furnish me nicely into retirement!(***) said Strauss
Belgium tennis star Kim Clijsters is another sports star who couldn(***)t quite make her mind up when to go. She first retired in 2007 after struggling with injury but returned just in time to win the U.S. Open twice and the 2011 Australian Open. With three U.S. Open titles to her name it is fitting it was in New York where she finally hung up her racket in August 2012
India(***)s cricket team took a double hit in 2012 with two of their strongest, yet oldest, batsman leaving the international crease for good. VVS Laxman (R) and Rahul Dravid (L) both felt it was time to give the younger guys a go after dominating the batting landscape for over 15 years
If you know anything about MotoGP then you will know a man called Casey Stoner. The Australian speedster won two World Championships in 2007 and 2011, and was often the man to beat. Following his decision to retire, the Phillip Island circuit in Oz named one of their corners after him. But what is around the next corner for Stoner?
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