7 sports stars who quit at peak of their powers with Hamilton ‘disillusioned’

When the motivation is gone, it's gone.

Some sporting stars cling onto their given sport for as long as they can – such as Kazuyoshi Miura who, at 54, signed with his 15th club in December.

But a small number have turned their backs on their chosen sport at the peak of their powers, leaving fans and the media scratching their heads.

Lewis Hamilton could be the latest in this list, with the F1 star 'disillusioned' with racing following the dramatic events in the desert.

With that in mind, Daily Star Sport is looking at seven athletes who walked away from sport in their prime.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is unique on this list, having walked away from basketball, in his prime years, not once, but twice.

After leading the Chicago Bulls to their first 'threepeat', Jordan walked away and turned his attention to baseball, but basketball proved an itch that needed a scratch.

Jordan returned, delivered another 'threepeat', and then walked away into the wilderness once more.

Which sporting star do you think retired too soon? Let us know in the comments section

Eric Cantona

"I always planned to retire when I was at the top and, at Manchester United, I have reached the pinnacle of my career," Cantona said in 1997.

The King, as he was known on the Stretford End, walked away from the Beautiful Game at 30 having burned bright for Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils.

Cantona lasted just five years in England, with spells at Leeds and United, but his impact is still felt.

Rocky Marciano

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The only undefeated heavyweight of all time, Rocky Marciano, walked away from the sweet science at 31-years-old.

The Massachusetts native went an incredible 49-0 during a professional career that lasted from 1947-1956

Marciano, reportedly, turned his back on boxing to spend more time with his family.

Bjorn Borg

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Bjorn Borg took the bold decision to walk away from Tennis at 26.

Borg, a tennis hall-of-famer, was on top of the world in 1981, however, he sat out the majority of the 1982 season due to general fatigue and only returned for one Open in 1983.

However, the Swede thought it was his time to bow out, despite being one of the world's best.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Stood on a record of 29-0, 32-years-old, and the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet, Khabib Nurmagomedov walked away from MMA.

"Because I feel like in every fight, in my every training camp, everything takes some age from my mother," Khabib confirmed after retiring.

"I’m the world champion, I’m P4P No. 1, I defend my title three times, I won the biggest fight in UFC history. What else? Only money and only money fights, but I don’t need money fights."

Marco van Basten

Marco van Basten will always hold a special place in the hearts of football fans: that kit, that goal.

But, the Dutchman was forced to hang up his boots in 1995, at 30-years-old, having not played a competitive fixture for AC Milan since he was 28.

Van Basten's final days of his career were plagued with injuries, and they were the key factor in his retirement, but football was denied Van Basten at the peak of his career.

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick stood, or well kneeled, for what he believed in.

During the San Francisco 49ers' third game of the 2016 pre-season Kaepernick, refused to stand during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice, police brutality and systematic oppression.

At the end of the season Kaepernick, who had been one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league opted out of his contract, and he is yet to return to the NFL.

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