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Ronaldo, Modric & the stars who may have played their last World Cup

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The World Cup often marks a watershed in players' careers, and a few of the game's biggest names may choose to stand down now Russia 2018 is over

#1 Sergio Aguero | Argentina

The Manchester City star will be 34 when the next World Cup arrives, and has suffered mixed fortunes in international football compared to his brilliant club record.

#2 Lionel Messi | Argentina

Messi's fourth World Cup campaign ended once more in disappointment, as his Argentina team were muscled out at the last-16 stage by France in a thrilling 4-3 defeat. The Barca star will be 35 when Qatar comes around and with such upheaval in the Argentina set-up, it is by no means certain that he will commit himself to four more years of gruelling transatlantic travel to represent his nation.

#3 Marcelo | Brazil

Marcelo saw his long-time Brazil team-mate Dani Alves ruled out of contention prior to Russia 2018 with an injury that means the great right-back's World Cup career came to an end. While the Madrid star is slightly younger than Alves, he will still be 34 in 2022.

#4 Luka Modric | Croatia

Modric was a rock for Croatia all the way through their amazing World Cup adventure. But the playmaker is another for whom Qatar 2022 will see a long way away right now. The Real Madrid man will be 37 by the time the ball gets rolling in four years' time.

#5 Mohamed Salah | Egypt

At just 26, Liverpool's fantastic forward should have no problem in making the cut for Qatar. But Egypt's exit from the World Cup was accompanied by strong speculation over Salah's international future, which could yet push him into a premature retirement.

#6 Cristiano Ronaldo | Portugal

Ronaldo made an explosive start to the 2018 World Cup with a hat-trick against Spain, making the Real Madrid star an early Golden Boot contender. But the forward failed to keep up that early momentum and drew a blank as Portugal went out to Uruguay in the last 16 and now, while there has been no official announcement, he may decide to bow out of the international arena.

#7 Thomas Muller | Germany

Having starred so impressively at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, Muller failed to leave his mark on Russia as Germany crashed and burned in the group stage. With a rebuilding process expected now from coach Joachim Low, his future as a part of the national team building towards Qatar is by no means guaranteed.

#8 Sergio Ramos | Spain

The Roja captain will be 36 in 2022, making him a long shot to last until the next World Cup. His unmatched commitment and drive, however, means that if anyone can go on to an incredible fifth finals, it is the Madrid stalwart.

#9 Luis Suarez | Uruguay

Like his strike partner Cavani, time is against Suarez if he wishes to make his fourth World Cup finals. The Barcelona star will be nearing his 36th birthday in Qatar, and will first hope to regain his best form for club and country after a comparatively disappointing 2017-18 campaign.

#10 Edinson Cavani | Uruguay

The Paris Saint-Germain striker came up big for the Celeste after a quiet start to the World Cup, smashing two past Portugal to prove his goal-scoring prowess. But he limped off in that clash and missed out on defeat to France. At 31, Cavani may step aside as Uruguay search for future striking stars for Qatar.

Source : Goal



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