Stars who retired as champions

Having reached the pinnacle of his sport, though, Rosberg has decided it is time to move on. We take a look at some of the other great sportspeople who have retired on the back of title triumphs.

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Nico Rosberg celebrates winning the F1 drivers' title.

Nico Rosberg stunned the world of sport on Friday by announcing his immediate retirement just five days after claiming the Formula One drivers' title.

The German's fascinating season-long battle with Mercedes team-mate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton came to a head in an enthralling finale at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Although it was Hamilton who topped the podium, a second-place finish for Rosberg ensured he retained his lead in the drivers' standings and claimed his first championship at the age of 31.

Having reached the pinnacle of his sport, though, Rosberg has decided it is time to move on. We take a look at some of the other great sportspeople who have retired on the back of title triumphs.


The 1993 Formula One season was largely dominated by one man – Williams driver Alain Prost. The Frenchman had to battle hard with the iconic Ayrton Senna at the start of the campaign, with them each taking three wins from the first six races of the season. However, a run of four straight victories for Prost were followed by a string of retirements for Senna, ensuring a fourth world title that provided the ideal ending to a glittering career.


One of the most successful managers in world football, Alex Ferguson began a 27-year stint at Manchester United after an excellent spell at Aberdeen. The Scot won 28 major trophies at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions Leagues. His final trophy came with top-flight glory in 2012-13, and 17 days later he brought the curtain down.


Considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning holds the NFL record for the most career passing yards of 71,940 and the greatest number of touchdown passes at 539. Manning won his first Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 and, after an injury-blighted season which raised doubts about his ability aged 39, he added a second with the Denver Broncos in 2016, bowing out on the ultimate high.


New Zealand became the first nation to successfully defend the Rugby World Cup trophy by beating Australia 34-17 in the final at Twickenham in 2015, adding to its success on home soil four years prior. It proved the end of the line for captain Richie McCaw, the most capped player in rugby union with 148 appearances for the All Blacks, as well as mercurial fly-half Dan Carter. Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Kevin Mealamu were also among an influential contingent who opted to end their international careers.


In defeating Andre Agassi in the final of the 2002 U.S. Open, the same opponent he overcame to win his first grand slam 12 years prior, Pete Sampras secured his place among the greats in men's tennis. It was a then-record 14th major for the American, a milestone which has since been surpassed by Roger Federer, but he did not compete again and announced his retirement almost one year later.


At 31, you still have a number of years ahead of you in football. However, after lifting the World Cup trophy with Germany in 2014, Philipp Lahm decided to call time on his international career and focus on club football with Bayern Munich. The versatile full-back made 113 appearances for his country and was joined by fellow centurions Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose – whose tally of 71 international strikes is a German record – in switching focus to domestic matters.


A first Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2013 appeared to be the breakthrough moment for a 28-year-old Marion Bartoli, but reality proved very different. The Frenchwoman defeated Sabine Lisicki – who had overcome pre-tournament favourites Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska – in the All England Club final, but announced her retirement during the Western and Southern Open just 40 days later due to persistent injuries.

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