WC Qatar 2022 – Five players who may retire after the FIFA World Cup
The World Cup in Qatar may be the last big competition for five top players, who have been leaders in their national teams for a decade and more and have left a deep mark in club football as well.
The list is actually much longer because a large number of football players enter their late playing years but in this article, we will mention the most famous ones, after whose withdrawals the way the national team will play will not be the same.
Cristiano Ronaldo (37)
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro made his debut for the Portuguese national team back in 2003 against Kazakhstan. He scored his first goal at EURO 2004, and ten years later he became the top scorer of the Portuguese national team of all time.
There are few records that this incredible football player did not break while playing in a jersey with the national emblem, and the crown of his national team career so far is winning the European Championship title in 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo has the most MOTM in World Cup. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/5NqPdzo20e
— IconicCR7 ™ (@IconicCR7_) May 27, 2022
The only trophy that Ronaldo lacks in his rich treasury is the FIFA World Cup Trophy. The Portuguese were closest to winning this trophy in 2006 when they reached the semifinals, but France and Zinedine Zidane were better, so the Portuguese had to settle for the fourth place.
Since he turned 37 this February, this will most likely be Cristiano’s last World Cup, so we believe he will be highly motivated to ascend his teammates and himself to the throne of the world. The Portuguese in Qatar start from Group H with Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea.
Leo Messi (35)
Along with Ronaldo, a player who definitely marked the current football era and did a lot to make this popular sport in the world reach new heights. What the two have in common is that Leo Messi is also dreaming an unfulfilled dream of winning the World Cup.
He was even closer than the Portuguese – in 2014, Argentina played the final against Germany in Brazil, but Gonzalo Higuain’s missed chances and Mario Gotze’s goal in the extra time left the Gauchos without a trophy. Messi was named the best player of that tournament, but it was a consolation prize.
The Argentines have had enough squad quality at every World Cup to get involved in the title fight, but some other factors were a stumbling block. For example, Maximiliano Meza and Eduardo Salvio had more playing time than Paolo Dybala at the World Cup in Russia even though the Juventus player was much better. They barely passed the group then and were eliminated by France in the Round of 16.
Emi Martinez on what it’s like playing with Lionel Messi 🤐 pic.twitter.com/vHVkWVfzGR
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 9, 2022
The Gauchos played great in the qualifications for the World Cup in Qatar and they have something to hope for, since they still have several great virtuosos with the ball, especially in the attacking part of the team. If they play the best they know-how, the national teammates can give the FIFA World Cup Trophy to Messi, which would make the tiny Argentine the best player of all time without further debate.
Edinson Cavani (35) and Luis Suarez (35)
The tandem of strikers of the Uruguayan national team could play in the national jersey for the last time in Qatar at the world’s biggest football festival. They both made their debut for this South American team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and have been a crucial factor in all the victories of the Uruguayans in the last 12 years.
At the mentioned World Cup, along with Diego Forlan, they were the most deserving for the placement of this national team in the semifinals and later winning fourth place. Many still remember Suarez playing with his hand on purpose in overtime in the quarterfinal match against Ghana. With the score 1-1, the Uruguayan striker prevented the opponents from scoring an obvious goal in the 120th minute. Gyan Asamoah hit the post from the penalty spot, and the Uruguayans later won 4-2 in the penalty shootout.
One thing’s certain: Uruguay will always have a world class striker 🇺🇾🎯 pic.twitter.com/JsSRu4gLHW
— 433 (@433) June 13, 2022
At the previous World Cup, the Uruguayans were eliminated in the quarterfinals by France, and in the eighth-finals, they were better than the Portuguese 2-1, and the scorer of both goals was Edinson Cavani.
Uruguay will also have a respectable squad in Qatar, which is a combination of youth and experience, so this national team has high ambitions when it comes to the upcoming World Cup. Regardless of the results, Cavani and Suarez will do their best to take their national team as far as possible in the World Cup.
Luka Modric (37)
For many football analysts, Luka Modrić is the best midfielder of today, and certainly one of the best of all time. He will turn 37 in September, so his performance in Qatar is most likely the last World Cup in the jersey of the Croatian national team.
Four years ago, the Croats already made a historic success by playing in the finals, where they were defeated by France (2-4). Although his teammates and he were left without a trophy, Modrić was named the best player of the 2018 World Cup.
— HNS (@HNS_CFF) June 15, 2022
It is unnecessary to say how important this football player is for the quality of the game, as well as for the results of the Croatian national team. Many expect that he, together with Mateo Kovačić and Marcelo Brozović, will make Croatia go far in Qatar as well.
It will be much harder now than four years ago because every opponent respects them, but this national team has shown that they know how to play well against absolutely any national team.
All in all, once these players retire from their national teams, these teams will no longer be the same without them. That is why we have to enjoy each of their upcoming performances because it is obvious that their era is coming to an end.
If you are a fan of betting, we have already prepared early predictions for you, and as the November event approaches, you will be able to read many more interesting World Cup texts on our website.