Representing one’s country is a matter of pride for anyone. Some players have managed to play until the late thirties by keeping up immense fitness levels, while others end their careers early succumbing to illness or injuries.
Retirement is unfortunately something that every player has to face, irrespective of the love for the game. But there has been instances of players ending their careers prematurely and then surprise everyone by deciding to revert their way back to playing the beautiful game at the highest level. It may not always be a wise decision, as for some players, it was a short-lived mistake.
Let us take a look at how players coming out of international retirement have fared in the past.
#1 Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane played a key role in the successful reign of France at both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Zidane won the 1998 World Cup, scoring twice in the final and UEFA Euro 2000, where he was named the Player of the Tournament. He was also named FIFA World Player of the Year three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.
After France’s elimination from Euro 2004, Zidane announced his retirement from international football. With France in a state of almost missing out on qualification for the 2006 World Cup, the then manager Raymond Domenech persuaded Zidane to come out of retirement and reinstated him as the captain.
It was a dream return for the current Real Madrid manager as France made it to the Finals of the 2006 World Cup and he was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.