Retirement for an athlete is not an easy thing to cope with. For someone who's used to spending the majority of his day on the field, even the idea of days without engaging in the game they love so dearly, can be quite upsetting.
Stories of athletes trying to get over depression after retiring are often published and gives us an insight into the person's psyche. A lot of thought goes into retirement and to announce it to the public can be agonising.
While, generally, when a player retires it means a complete goodbye, but there are some resilient stars who just can't seem stay away from all the action and make a surprising comeback after announcing after their official retirement.
Here are the most famous ones:1. Shahid Afridi:
After retiring from Test cricket in early in 2006, Afridi joined Pakistan's Test cricket roster as the skipper in 2010. He quit from international cricket after losing to India during the World Cup in 2011 but came back within 5 months.
He thought of retiring again in 2012 to give way to the younger lot but opted against it anyway. He then announced that he will say goodbye after the 2016 T20 World Cup, but decided against it after finding his form while finally announcing his final retirement in 2017.
There is no debating the fact that Afridi is a great player but come on man, give us a break!2. Zinedine Zidane
The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner and titled the 'FIFA Player of the Year' thrice (1998, 2000 and 2003), France's football legend decided to call it quits from international football after being ousted in the 2004 EURO Cup.
Skip ahead two years in the future and the French football team found themselves staring at the face of elimination from the qualifying round of FIFA World Cup in 2006.
Upon being requested by the then manager, Raymond Domenech, like a superhero, Zidane came to France's rescue and made his post-retirement comeback.
Completely re-energised, Zidane not only prevented the team from not making it to the qualifying round but also led them to the World Cup final. He was also awarded the Golden Ball for his historical comeback and being the best performer during the tournament.3. Imran Khan:
After bidding adieu into retirement, Pakistan's Imran Khan happened to meet a fortune teller who lived in a small village a few kilometres west of the Indo-Pak border. Following a brief interaction, 'Baba Chala' - the fortune teller told the ex-cricketer: 'It is the will of Allah, you are still in the game.'” as mentioned in Peter Oborne's 'Wounded Tiger'.
Even after the numerous pleadings made by the Pakistan Cricket Board for the Pathan's return, Khan declined all rumours of returning to the field but when the Pakistani President, General Zia ul Haq requested Khan to come back to the sport as a personal favour, he had to agree.
In what can be considered as one of the finest games played by the cricketer with the persona of a rockstar, Irfan Khan dominated the mighty Windies team and achieved an 11-wicket haul in Guyana to defeat them, despite having an infected toe.
What makes this feat special is the fact that Pakistan's win over the Windies was the first time in the past 10 years that Viv Richard's men had lost a match on their own soil.4. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time. 'His Airness' retired for the first time in an odd situation in 1993 to make a career in major league baseball after winning three consecutive NBA championships for the Chicago Bulls.
Eventually returning to the game that made his name a brand, Jordan rejoined the Bulls two years later and won three more consecutive titles along with making the then-record for the most number of wins during a single regular season (72 wins).
After announcing his second retirement in 1999, Jordan hung around with the Washington Wizards for two seasons between 2001 and 2003 before finally calling it off for good.