◼️ This World Cup will mean the withdrawal of international football for some superstars, such as the champions in South Africa 2010, Gerard Piqué and Andrés Iniesta.
The 2018 World Cup is just around the corner and is, for some of its protagonists, the last chance to shine wearing the colors of its country. While Lionel Messi said his continuity will depend on how Argentina performs, other stars have already announced that they will withdraw from international football when this World Cup ends.
Such is the case of Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué, symbols of Barcelona and the champion Spain in South Africa 2010. “By nature, it may be my last appearance,” Andrés said recently. The central defender, on the other hand, was more forceful: “I have it very meditated, I will leave the Selection after Russia”.
In Mexico, there will also be a couple of references that will say goodbye. Rafael Márquez, in fact, will say goodbye to football in a definitive way: at 39, the Kaiser will play his fifth World Cup and will seek to overcome the round of 16 for the first time. Striker Oribe Peralta, 34, announced that he will retire from El Tri after his second participation in a World Cup.
Unlike Messi, who will wait to see what happens in Russia 2018 to decide his future, Javier Mascherano will have his fourth and last World Cup participation with the Albiceleste in Russia. El Jefecito, summoned to the Argentine National Team for the first time in July 2003, by Marcelo Bielsa, is now 34 years old and arrived with just enough to this World Cup.
Panama is one of the teams with the most veterans in its squad, and two of them have already confirmed their retirement when the maximum date of world football comes to an end. It’s about the forwards Blas Pérez and Luis Tejada, 37 and 36 years old respectively. Both are the top goalscorers of this national team, with 43 goals.
Other players who have not yet confirmed their retirement, but are expected to do so after Russia 2018 are: Essam El Hadary, the 45-year-old Egyptian goalkeeper who will try to beat Faryd Mondragón’s record as the oldest player to play in a World Cup ( participated in Italy ’90); Tim Cahill, 38, is the top scorer in Australian history and wants to score for the fifth consecutive World Cup; Sergei Ignashevich, defender of 38 years and one of the maximum referents of the host, Russia; Bruno Alves, defender of Portugal, who wants to reach 100 matches with his national team at 36; and Michael Krohn-Dehli, who got in at the last moment in the call of Denmark, with 35 years.