Footballers Who Disappeared In 2022: Where Are They Now?

Footballers Who Disappeared In 2022: Have you noticed that there are some players whose names you heard up until last year but then just stopped hearing? Ever wondered where they went? Well, we want to look at a few of them today and tell you where they are.

These are 10 footballers who disappeared in 2022 and where they are right now.

1. Marcelo

Let’s start with Real Madrid’s former captain, Marcelo. After playing for the European giants for 15 years, Marcelo finally said goodbye to the club in 2022. 

Footballers Who Disappeared In 2022

He moved to Greece to join Olympiacos in September of that year and things actually started out well for him there. He scored 3 goals in 2 Greek Cup games.

But then, just 5 months into his stay at Olympiacos, Marcelo terminated his contract and left in February. Was there a problem? Nah, Marcelo was just homesick. He wanted to go back to Brazil where it all started for him.

So, just 6 days after his Olympiacos contract was torn up, Fluminese – the club where Marcelo’s career started – announced that their boy would be returning for one last dance.

Shop quality jerseys at

So, if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard the name Marcelo in a while, it’s because he’s dancing with his mates at Fluminense. And that last dance has been off to a good start as Marcelo has already helped the club win a trophy in his short time there. He even registered a goal in the final of the Campeonato Carioca.

2. Gerard Pique

In November 2022, Pique just suddenly announced that he’d be retiring from professional football and would be playing his last game for Barcelona before the World Cup break.

The announcement came as a shock to many, and people wondered why he decided to hang his boots so abruptly. But the answer became apparent really quickly.

That same month Pique announced his retirement, the Kings League was founded. The Kings League is Pique’s brainchild and he was so focused on establishing and developing it that he was eager to leave the mainstream world of football.

As a matter of fact, the only thing that has brought his name back to mainstream popularity since his retirement was his little back and forth with Shakira.

Anyway, the Kings League is still growing strong and it looks like Pique is really doing something with it. If you want to know more about this unique and wacky league, check out this video.

3. Cesc Fabregas

Another Barcelona guy you no longer hear of is Cesc Fabregas. And contrary to popular belief, Fabregas is actually not retired yet. He is 36 and still going strong.

After he left Chelsea in January of 2019, he moved to Monaco and was really balling there. Then in 2022, the World Cup winner left the French club and guess where he went! To Italy!

But Fabregas did not go to join a Serie A club. He joined a second-tier club named Como. But before you say the World Cup winner could have done better than that, let’s just tell you this; the man went there to protect his investment. 

The former Barcelona man is a shareholder at Como, so he’s trying to help bring the club to the Serie A to compete with the big boys.

But come to think of it, the Serie B has to be the most star-studded second-tier league in Europe as it also boasts another World Cup winner in Gianluigi Buffon who currently plays for Parma.

4. Gonzalo Higuain

Let’s now talk about one of Buffon’s former teammates, Gonzalo Higuain. Buffon may still be going strong at 45, but a 10-year younger Higuain has already packed it up.

The Argentinian striker left Europe in 2020 and moved to the US to play for MLS club, Inter Miami. He played for 2 years there and then retired in 2022.

So, if it feels like Higuain just disappeared, it’s because he stopped playing professional football.

5. Samuel Umtiti

Here’s a guy who doesn’t seem close to retiring but still feels like he disappeared – Samuel Umtiti. After having been on the bench for so long at Barcelona with the club looking for ways to force him out, Umtiti finally decided to leave on loan to Serie A club Lecce in 2022.

You haven’t heard much from him since then because Lecce is a newly-promoted club that’s not really very popular around Europe.

Right now, the club is in a relegation fight. If they go down and Umtiti decides to remain with them, that would mean one extra World Cup winner for the Serie B. Now, wouldn’t that just be amazing?

6. Blaise Matuidi

Just like Higuain, Matuidi left Juventus and joined Inter Miami in 2020, spent 2 years there, and retired in 2022. 

The Frenchman only announced his retirement in December 2022, but he had been off Inter Miami’s roster since January. That’s probably why it feels like he was gone the whole year.

7. Franck Ribery

Another Frenchman who appeared to have disappeared in 2022 is Franck Ribery. After leaving Bayern Munich in 2019, Ribery moved to Fiorentina where he was actually still making waves.

Then in 2021, he moved to newly-promoted Serie A club, Salernitana, in a one-year deal which would automatically renew if the club remained in the Serie A.

Ribery then went on to help them narrowly escape relegation on the final day of that season, so he was to stay another season. But he kept being plagued with injuries, and that forced him to terminate his contract with the club and retire from professional football in October 2022.

But he didn’t leave Salernitana. He remained at the club and is currently working as technical collaborator to the coach.

8. Daniel Sturridge

A personal favorite for us on this list is Daniel Sturridge. The English striker who played for Man City, Chelsea, and Liverpool in his very successful career appeared to have just disappeared in 2022. And well, it’s simply because there was a lot going on in his life.

After lifting the Champions League with Liverpool in 2019, Sturridge was released by the club. He was to join Sevilla that summer, but that didn’t happen. What he got instead was a 6-week ban for football because he told his brother to bet on him being transferred to Sevilla.

Anyway, Sturridge later moved to Turkey to play for Trabzonspor that summer. 7 months later, his contract with the club got terminated and he received a 4-month ban from football anywhere in the world for breaching betting rules with the whole Sevilla thing.

After his ban, he moved to Australia to play for Perth Glory in 2021. But in June 2022, Sturridge was released by the club after 8 disappointing months as described by the club’s chief executive.

We’ve not heard any retirement announcement from Sturridge just yet, so he might still be considering a return to playing, but for now, he seems like he’s just chilling. Last year, nobody knew where Sturridge was until his little Mbappe song during the World Cup. 

9. Carlos Tevez

Yet again, we have a former Juventus man, Carlos Tevez. Although having left Europe since 2015, Carlos Tevez has still remained a household name through the years.

He made an emotional return to Boca Juniors in 2015 before then moving to China in 2016 to secure the bag. He was reportedly earning 41 million dollars per year there and that made him the highest-paid player in the world at the time, so of course, his name was still in the news.

After his time in China, which he described as a holiday, Tevez went back to Boca Juniors in 2018 for his third spell and played there until 2021. 

When he announced that he would be leaving the club, he said that he was physically fit to continue and he could play till 42, but just not at Boca Juniors. 

However, just a year later, Carlos Tevez announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 38. He said the reason for his retirement was the loss of his father who he called his number one fan.

10. Miralem Pjanic

With Pjanic, everything went wrong when he moved to Barcelona in 2020. Despite how good and vastly experienced he was, he was unable to break into the Barcelona first team. So, he joined Besiktas on loan in 2021.

He returned to Barcelona in 2022 and we thought Xavi might find him useful, but that didn’t happen. So, Pjanic left Europe in September 2022, moving to Sharjah FC in the UAE.

He’s still just 33, though. Do you think he could maybe make a return to Europe before he retires?

Anyway, do you remember any more players who disappeared in 2022? 

Drop their names in the comments.

Keep reading: Top 10 Best Footballers Available on Pre-Contract in January 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Shop
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors