The upcoming FIFA World Cup already guarantees to be an enticing spectacle for plenty of causes, with new narratives forming across the event day by day.
As at all times, considered one of these narratives centres on Lionel Messi. The Argentina ahead not too long ago confirmed that this 12 months’s event will probably be his final. While that is hardly a serious shock, on condition that Messi will probably be 39 when the 2026 World Cup takes place, the affirmation that this will probably be our final probability to see the PSG ahead on the worldwide stage provides a brand new layer of intrigue to Argentina’s marketing campaign.
With that in thoughts, we thought we would check out among the different elder statesmen of the sport for whom this would be the final World Cup of their careers.
An ever-present determine within the England set-up all through the Gareth Southgate period, Liverpool captain Henderson is presently doing all the things he can to get well from harm in time to be on the aircraft to Qatar.
It’s more likely to be the midfielder’s closing event for the Three Lions, with age and health points starting to meet up with Henderson after years spent enjoying in a high-intensity Liverpool facet. Southgate adores him and can proceed to incorporate him in his squad to the bitter finish, however certainly a altering of the guard should come quickly.
It’s baffling to assume that Robert Lewandowski has solely performed in a single World Cup earlier than this one. The Barcelona striker failed to attain a single purpose in Poland’s disappointing 2018 marketing campaign as they went out on the group stage in Russia.
At the ripe previous age of 34, Lewandowski will probably be hoping he can exit on a excessive word and ship the products in what is going to possible be his closing alternative to shine at this stage.
Despite lacking France’s final spherical of worldwide fixtures with a thigh harm, all indicators level to Hugo Lloris main Les Bleus out in Qatar in November.
The Spurs goalkeeper captained his nation to glory in 2018 and will probably be eager to duplicate the feat this time round, as at 35 he’s nearly definitely working out of time.
Omitted from France’s squads for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, Benzema could look again at his worldwide profession as a missed alternative.
The Real Madrid striker has shone since being reintroduced to the nationwide set-up final 12 months and can look to exit with a bang in Qatar. With the countless conveyor belt of younger expertise at France’s disposal, you think about they could transfer on from Benzema earlier than 2026.
Another World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Neuer will probably be seeking to assist Die Mannschaft to a stronger efficiency in Qatar after a depressing efficiency in 2018.
Though Neuer was a part of the Germany facet that gained the event in 2014, his final motion in a World Cup was getting caught 70 yards up the pitch as Germany conceded a late purpose to South Korea in 2018. Can they make it previous the group stage this 12 months?
The 2010s had been purported to be the last decade of Belgium. Years spent cultivating their youth expertise led to an emergence of high quality that made the Red Devils the hipster’s selection for a number of tournaments – specifically the 2018 World Cup, by which they got here third.
Now although. it is secure to say the golden period is coming to an finish. Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Axel Witsel, Eden Hazard – in every single place you look, Belgium’s stars are starting to fade. Could Qatar be their final hurrah?
Like his profession rival Messi, it’s really tough to think about a World Cup with out Cristiano Ronaldo. Given that he’ll be 41 by the point the subsequent one rolls round, although, certainly Qatar is the final shot at glory for the Portuguese?
Ronaldo is already the all-time prime scorer in males’s worldwide soccer and lifted the European Championship trophy with Portugal in 2016, however you simply know he’d like to log off with a World Cup earlier than hanging up his boots.
Luka Modric may nonetheless look and play like a person in his early 20s – however, at 37 years of age, you surprise if he is received one other World Cup in him after Qatar.
Write him off at your peril, thoughts you – his tireless performances for Real Madrid in final season’s Champions League show that the diminutive midfielder nonetheless has some fuel within the tank.
At 38 years previous, having gained each trophy possible and had the honour of a grime anthem being named after you, what higher strategy to log off than with a World Cup?
Thiago Silva is one other participant who has rolled again the years together with his shows at membership stage, marshalling Chelsea’s defence by means of a turbulent couple of years with two managerial adjustments. The Blues – and his native Brazil – will miss his calming presence on the again when he is gone.
From his deliberate handball towards Ghana in 2010 to biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in 2014, it is secure to say Suarez has left his mark on the World Cup – although principally for the improper causes.
How will he make an influence in Qatar, in what is going to possible be his closing event with Uruguay? All we will do is hope Liverpool have already began printing the T-shirts as a result of Suarez is certain to discover a strategy to make this competitors about him.