At the end of the match: exploring retirement of Italian football players

Chiara D'Angelo, Eleonora Reverberi, Diletta Gazzaroli, Caterina Gozzoli

Resumen

Retirement of Italian football players is unknown, thus, after analysing current literature about leaving from sport and using a Phenomenological-Interpretative approach we develop an explorative study on Italian former football players’ experience of withdrawal. We interview 14 former players that competed in the highest level of Italian football Championship, to better understand their lived experience of retirement and compare it with literature. It emerges that the minority of football players choose voluntary to retire – except in the case when they enter into their Clubs as coaches or manager – and cannot plan retirement in advance; they share a strong athletic identity but the risk of identity foreclosure seems to be moderated by social support, especially from families and partners, while less from sport context (coach and teammates). Implications for future research in Italy and the work of sport psychologists and professional Clubs of football are discussed.

Palabras clave

Retirement; Football players; Social support; Athletic identity; Voluntariness; Planning

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