Eight emotional footballing returns as Ben Foster rejoins Wrexham after 18 years

After almost 18 years Ben Foster has returned to Wrexham in a bid to help the Red Dragons into the Football League – and he's not the first to revisit a former home before retirement.

From Gianluigi Buffon returning home in his mid 40s to Luis Suarez heading back to South America to bang home a few more goals, an emotional second spell is not uncommon.

Following Foster's return to Wales, Daily Star Sport have now taken a look at eight other trophy-winning footballers who took the chance to head back to a familiar stomping ground, including Robin van Persie.

READ MORE: Wayne Rooney made huge error when contacting Sir Alex Ferguson about Man Utd move

Gianluigi Buffon to Parma

Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong in his second spell at Parma at the age of 45 – and has already pledged to see out the end of next season.

The Juventus icon headed back to Italy after a season with PSG, where he missed out on £8.8million, now featuring in Serie B as a veteran.

Buffon picked up 10 Serie A titles during his time with The Old Lady, but promotion with Parma would be just as satisfying as his career comes to a close.

Arjen Robben to Groningen

Arjen Robben retired after 10 seasons with Bayern Munich back in 2019 but was tempted back into the game by a return to his boyhood club Groningen.

The former Netherlands skipper made another seven appearances for the club but sadly had to call it quits following an injury blow back in 2021.

The 39-year-old has since tried his hand at running marathons, posting a simply incredible time of 3 hours and 14 minutes last year.

Have you ever had a former hero return to the club? Tell us how it when in the comments section below.

Robin van Persie to Feyenoord

Robin van Persie turned his back on Arsenal to join Manchester United before a spell at Fenerbahce, after which he returned home.

The Netherlands hero rejoined Feyenoord at the end of his career and did not disappoint with 25 goals across his 45 fixtures in all competitions.

Van Persie retired in 2019 and it didn't take him long to go into coaching, becoming assistant boss at the club the following year.

Carlos Tevez to Boca Juniors

Keen to leave Manchester, Carlos Tevez fancied a return to Argentina with Boca Juniors after spending time with Juventus – and joined them again for a third spell in 2018.

The former United and City striker spent a total of 12 seasons at the club having signed for them three times, netting 94 goals across 279 games.

He said back after leaving England: "The only thing I had a problem with was the weather. I really enjoyed Manchester, the social life and its people."

Dirk Kuyt to Quick Boys

Liverpool hero Dirk Kuyt found the energy to join Quick Boys in a local league at the end of his playing career having left his second spell with Feyenoord in 2017.

The former Netherlands international smashed home 38 goals in his second spell with Feyenoord after leaving Fenerbahce, but didn't score in three games back at Quick Boys.

The 42-year-old has since moved into coaching like Van Persie, taking charge at ADO Den Haag last year where he won five of 17 fixtures.

Diego Milito to Racing Club

Diego Milito was briefly the hottest striker on the planet as he fired Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan to an unlikely treble with a Champions League final double.

The former Argentina international left the club in 2014 and spent two years back at Racing Club, where he had come through the youth system as a teen.

Milito managed 22 goals across 77 fixtures before calling time on his playing days back in 2016.

Wayne Rooney to Everton

Wayne Rooney remained in the Premier League after his 13 years with Manchester United came to an end – going on to net another 10 goals in the division for Everton.

The former England skipper was delighted to return to his boyhood club despite some friction after his Old Trafford switch back in 2004.

Rooney went on to play for DC United and Derby before the end of his playing days, since managing in both the Championship and MLS.

Luis Suarez to Nacional

Luis Suarez was sent package by Barcelona despite his service to the club in 2020, but made them pay by firing Atletico Madrid to La Liga glory.

He then returned to Uruguayan with boyhood club Nacional, managing eight goals across his 16 appearances before finding another challenge in Brazil.

Suarez has netted 10 goals in 12 games for Gremio since his switch earlier this year, showing he still has what it takes at 36 years old.


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