“All good things must come to an end.” There are many who dislike the proverb, however, it is a reality that none can change. As the football World Cup in Qatar looms large on the horizon, several illustrious names in soccer are also staring at an exit post the quadrennial event. After the Qatar carnival, a new era is certain to dawn upon the football world with old guards passing the batons to the new ones. So, let us find out the footballers for whom this event is going to be one last chance to garner the ultimate glory of the game for their countries.
Well, it is heartbreaking but it can’t be denied that for the Argentine legend the Qatar World Cup is going to be the final opportunity to help his national team lift the coveted trophy after a gap of over three decades. Critically, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, despite featuring in four editions, has never scored a goal for Argentina in the WC knockouts. So, the 35-year-old veteran needs to bring in all his experience and skills to do it for Argentina in his fifth World Cup appearance at the end of this year.
Another GOAT of this era also happens to be on the wrong side of the 30s and the Qatar edition will be his last chance to help Portugal lift the prestigious trophy. Despite touching 37, Cristiano Ronaldo has not lost his goal-scoring abilities as he has netted 24 times this season for Manchester United to spare the blushes several times. However, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner needs to perform much better at this year’s world cup for Portugal to take home their maiden World Cup trophy.
Thus far, he has appeared only in one world cup (2014) and was banned from playing for France for five years over his involvement in a sex tape blackmail scandal. Even for Karim Benzema, the Qatar edition looks like the final one on the big stage as he is all set to turn 35 this December. Therefore, he needs to replicate his current form in the Premier League to assist the defending champions France in keeping the prized possession at home.
The Brazilian star striker is just 30 and will be left with some precious years even after the conclusion of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. However, Neymar dropped a bombshell last year when he said that the upcoming edition will be his last one as he is not assured of his “strength of mind to deal with Football anymore”. So, he would be doubly determined this time around to help Brazil win the trophy to end the barren run of the 5-time world champions since 2002.
The Polish player has been in sublime touch for Bayern Munich by scoring 35 goals this season in Bundesliga. But for Poland, he has only appeared in three world cup games and is yet to score for them. At 34, the time is running short for Lewandowski and this year’s world cup might prove to be his last for his national team. So, he will be charged up to help his national side lift their maiden title this time around.