New Zealandâs leading ODI wicket taker announced his retirement from ODIs after the 2011 World Cup. Two years later, he was summoned back to the ODI squad for the 2013 edition of the Champions Trophy. He is also part of the 15-member New Zealand squad for the 2015 World Cup. He has taken 360 Test wickets and 284 ODI wickets.
The seven-time Formula One champion shocked the world when he decided to retire after the 2006 season when he finished second place after Fernando Alonso. However, the former Ferrari driver made a comeback to F1 in 2010 and was signed on to race for Mercedes, his rival team back in the day. Schumacher finally announced his decision to retire at the end of the 2012 season.
One of the finest players in basketball and recipient of numerous awards, the Chicago Bulls star decided to retire from the sport in 1993 stating his fatherâs murder that year as one of the reasons. He further shocked the world when he signed on to Chicagoâs White Sox to compete in minor league baseball. In 1995, Michael Jordan again returned to the NBA. Jordan retired for the second time in 1999 but only to return two years later to play for Washington Wizards. Jordan again called the curtains on his career during the 2002-03 season.
Three-time former World heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medallist, Ali decided to retire following his third title win against Leon Spinks in 1979. However, he soon came out of retirement to fight Larry Holmes in a bid to win the title an unprecedented fourth time. Ali later on fought for the last time in 1981 losing to Trevor Berbick.
Unarguably one of the finest footballers in the world ever and three-time FIFA World Cup winner, Pele decided to semi-retire in 1972 and stated that he would occasionally play for the Brazilian club Santos. In 1974, he signed on to play for New York Cosmos of the NASL. He led the team to the title in 1977 before calling his retirement.
After being diagnosed with cancer in 1996 at the age of 25, Lance decided to call it quits on his cycling career. But in 1998, he returned to the sport and finished in fourth place. He then went on to win a record 7 Tour de France titles. In 2005, he announced his retirement again but returned to competitive cycling in 2009 and retired again in 2011. He was stripped of all his 7 titles in 2012 and was banned after being caught for drug use.
The American swimmer has won 18 Olympic gold medals â the most by any athlete. After the 2012 Olympics and winning his 18th gold medal, Phelps retired as the most successful swimmer. However, in 2014 he came out of retirement and also went on to win at the Arena Grand Prix in the 100 m butterfly event.
After nearly a 20-year career, the 11-time All Star winning American baseball player chose to retire in 2003 after playing for clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. He ended on a high recording his 300th career win and 400th strike out, becoming the only player to record both milestones in a single game. He came out of retirement in 2004 signing for Houston Astros. He then stated that he planned to retire in 2006 although no official announcement was made. He went on to play for the Yankees once again in 2007 before officially retiring.
The 10-time world champion is known to be the greatest pound-for-pound boxer in history and has been the highest paid athlete in the world on numerous occasions. After his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather decided to retire. He would then make his first of many comebacks in 2007, to face Ricky Hatton. After his fight he announced his retirement to focus on his company. 21 months later in 2009, he staged another comeback to fight Juan Manuel Marquez. In 2011, he went on to fight Victor Ortiz after a 16 month gap. He also served jail time due to domestic abuse. He returned to light middle weight for the third time in 2013 to fight Saul Alvarez and later, Marcos Maidana on two occasions for the unified welterweight title, Mayweather went on to win both bouts.