Football

Ex-Chelsea star Gary Cahill announces retirement from football

Gary Cahill, a former England and Chelsea defender, retired from the sport at 36.

Gary Cahill, a former England and Chelsea defender, retired from the sport at 36.

Cahill has been without a team since he left Bournemouth in the summer. He played for his country 61 times and scored five goals.

The two-time Premier League champion thinks now is the right time to stop playing.

Cahill said in an interview, “Obviously, it’s been a tough decision in some aspects, but I think I just knew the journey had to come to an end at some stage. I just got the feeling that now is the right time.

“I did have options. I could have played in the Premier League with one side, and I had a couple of options in the Championship, which is flattering to still get the offers.

“But at the moment, as well as my career, my kids are settled at school, and it would’ve meant moving again.”

Cahill joined the England team while he was playing for Bolton Wanderers. He was the first player from Bolton to play for England since Michael Ricketts in 2002. He got his first cap in September 2010, when England beat Bulgaria 4-0.

“It was huge because, at the time, a lot of the England squad were in top teams, and I don’t mean that disrespectfully towards Bolton, who took the chance to buy me [from Aston Villa],” Cahill stated. 

“They put me in the team week-in, week-out, and they gave me the platform to learn, make mistakes, grow as a player, and grow as a man.”

Most people remember Cahill for the seven years he played for Chelsea, which bought him for £7m in the January transfer window of 2012. During his time at Stamford Bridge, he won eight major awards. His biggest accomplishment was being on the team that won the Champions League in 2012.

“To be involved in such a successful team was the pinnacle of your playing days,” Cahill added.

“It’s what you strive for when you first start playing to get to the top to try and be involved in a team that can challenge and compete for trophies.

“To be in a changing room with such big figures that were there at the time – the list was huge – players who have gone on and achieved so many great things in the game, coming in as a young player was amazing for me.”

Cahill played for Crystal Palace for two years after leaving Chelsea as a free agent in 2019. During that time, he made 47 appearances in all competitions and played under former England manager Roy Hodgson.

After weeks of talks, the former Bolton and Aston Villa center-back and the Eagles couldn’t agree on a new contract in 2021, so he joined Bournemouth on a short-term deal for the 2021/22 season.

Cahill’s contract was not renewed, even though he played in 22 league games and helped the Cherries get promoted from the Championship.