The 2022 FIFA World Cup represents the ‘last dance’ for a generation of talented footballers.
For some of the game’s most famous figures, as well as Canada’s captain, Qatar represents their last chance to compete in the World Cup and showcase their remarkable skills in the biggest and most watched sport on the planet.
Here is a partial list of some notable veterans who will more than likely play in this year’s final World Cup.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi has announced his retirement from the World Cup after the World Cup. So, this is his last chance to win it all and join Diego Maradona as the football god who helped football crazy Argentina to the World Cup title. Messi only came close before reaching the final of the 2014 tournament in Brazil, losing to Germany. Apart from that run, he hasn’t found much success at the World Cup, and his only international honor with his country came in 2021 when they won the Copa America. Some of the sport’s biggest stars have never won a World Cup, notably Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff. If Messi wins it, it won’t change anything – his place in football’s pantheon is assured. But don’t kid yourself: it ranks Messi as he’s never won a World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Club: Manchester United (for now …)
Cristiano Ronaldo is in the same boat as Lionel Messi. He is already the greatest player to ever play the game. He doesn’t need to win the World Cup to cement his legend. But like Messi, he is driven by a sense of responsibility to give Portugal the World Cup title, even though he has helped his country win the European Championship and the UEFA Nations League. It goes without saying that he is the greatest goalscorer of all time. Men’s international football for Portugal with 117 goals in 191 games. Despite four tournaments, he has never played in a World Cup final.
Luka Modric (Croatia)
Club: Real Madrid
Location: middle ground
Is there a more handsome midfielder than Luka Modric? Silky smooth on the ball, the Croatian only strikes class when he’s in possession, or when he finds a teammate with his trademark indiscriminate passes. During the last decade of excellence at Real Madrid, he has won five Champions League titles and three La Liga titles during this time. He also won the Ballon d’Or in 2018, becoming the first player not named Messi or Ronaldo to win it since 2007. World Cup success has been difficult for Modric, who has played in the last three tournaments. Four years ago in Russia, Modric helped guide his country to the final and although Croatia lost to France, he was recognized for his excellent form by winning the Golden Ball as World Cup MVP.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
Club: Bayern Munich
Location: middle ground
Like every other player on this list, Thomas Muller knows what it’s like to win a World Cup. His five goals helped Germany win the 2014 tournament in Brazil. He also scored another five goals in South Africa in 2010 when Germany finished third, so he knows a thing or two about finding the back of the net in this competition. He fell out of favor with Germany after a poor showing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but the 33-year-old was recalled for last summer’s European Championships and is preparing for a leadership role with the national team.
Atiba Hutchinson (Canada)
Location: middle ground
Midfielder Atiba Hutchinson has experienced highs and lows (honestly, a lot of lows and highs) with the Canadian men’s team since making his international debut as a 19-year-old in 2003. He has been a loyal servant to the Canadians. program, participating in five different rounds of the World Cup and becoming the team’s all-time leader with 98 caps. Most players retire long before their 39th birthday. Not the Canadian captain, who is still going strong as he approaches 40 in February. But you have to think that Brampton, Ont. The native, who plays professionally for Turkish club Beşiktaş, will call time on his international career after this World Cup, finally fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Luis Suarez (Uruguay)
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has had a bit of a colorful history at the World Cup. From receiving a red card for saving his handball against Ghana in the 2010 quarter-finals, to shouldering Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in 2014, Suarez has been involved in numerous World Cup controversies. But he has also scored twice in his three tournaments, helping his country to fourth place in 2010. Now the national team striker will help Uruguay to the third world thanks to his leadership and goalscoring ability. Cup crown and first since 1950.
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
You have to feel a little sorry for Robert Lewandowski. In any other era, he would have been a multiple Ballon d’Or winner and the world’s best player after scoring over 300 goals at club level. But he was unfortunate enough to reach his peak at the same time as Messi and Ronaldo, and he was forever overshadowed by the duo. He never got the credit or recognition he deserved. Now 34, he is still looking to score his first World Cup goal after being kept off the scoresheet in his only previous appearance in 2018 when Poland were knocked out at the group stage. .
Dani Alves (Brazil)
Location: Right rear
A veteran of just two World Cups (in 2010 and 2014), Brazil’s Dani Alves missed out four years ago in Russia when a knee injury ruled him out of the tournament. It appeared to be the end of his international career, but the former FC Barcelona star was named the 2019 Copa America MVP as Brazil won the South American championship for the ninth time. He helped his country win a gold medal at last summer’s Olympics. Now 39, Alves, once considered the best full-back in the world, has one last shot at adding the one trophy that has so far eluded him: the World Cup.