FIFA World Cup 2018: The excitement of the football carnival that opened with Russia’s stellar 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia in the inaugural clash appears to be acquiring new proportions with each passing game. The emergence of new teams has upped the competition among teams and the excitement amongst fans is only set to grow from here. Many big teams have stumbled in the group of 32. Germany losing to Mexico and Brazil’s disappointing start are not what fans had expected. While one may argue that the expectations and the attention on the likes of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo are misplaced, the time is apt to look out for some players who may be playing their last World Cup.
Here are 5 players who could retire after FIFA World Cup 2018:
1. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta, 34-years old, is one the most prominent players in the football world. Iniesta has recently retired from his club Barcelona after playing for 16 long years and may retire from the Spanish team too. With terrific dribbling techniques and control over the ball, Iniesta’s talent was an important asset for the team. Iniesta’s retirement will be a great loss for the team and might be an end of an era in Spanish Football. Having appeared for 3 times in the World Cup, the 4th might be the time for him to hang his boots.
2. Thiago Silva
Brazillian footballer, Thiago Silva is an important center back defender in both Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and his national team Brazil. The 32-year-old footballer has made one appearance in FIFA World cup 2014. This is his second appearance in World Cup tournaments. Known for playing short passes and not diving for tackles, started playing for Brazil in Olympic Football Tournament against China PR.
3. Lionel Messi
Argentine mid striker, Lionel Messi is amongst the most famous footballer. Any layman will know who Messi is. Currently aged 30, he is one of the best strikers in the world. His stamina, agility, speed, flexibility, and his swiftness are qualities which every footballer dreams for. For Messi, being a footballer is a fun profession. He believes that being able to enjoy a profession and being able to do it in front of a lot of public is the best thing about his profession. This 31-year-old may also be playing his last world cup this year.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal’s talented striker, Ronaldo is one of the fittest players in the football world. The 33-year-old striker is another football star known by everyone across the globe. Despite a poor history in earlier World Cup editions, Ronaldo opened this year’s World Cup with a hat-trick against Spain and proved to teams that it won’t be easy for them to win against Portugal. The debate on who is the better footballer of the generation, Messi or Ronaldo, continues unabated. But going by the current performance, Ronaldo may have an edge.
5. Manuel Peter Neuer
The 36-year-old German goalkeeper plays for both Bayern Munich and his national team Germany. One of the best goalkeepers around, Neuer is among the favorites of fans and players alike. For many players including Messi, he is one of the toughest keepers to score against. His diving skills, fast reflexes help him save lots of difficult goals. He was also a Golden Glove winner in the last world cup.