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5 superstars who could be playing their last World Cup in 2022

Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER

#3 Neymar Jr. (Brazil)

Brazil v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Brazil v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

At 29-years-old, Neymar Jr. is the youngest player on the list. We'd have expected him to stick around until the 2026 FIFA World Cup. But the Brazilian international has revealed that he will retire from international football after next year's edition.

Speaking in DAZN's exclusive new documentary, Neymar & The Line Of Kings, he said:

"I think it's my last World Cup. I see it as my last because I don't know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football anymore.
"So I'll do everything to turn up well, do everything to win with my country, to realise my greatest dream since I was little. And I hope I can do it."

Neymar is arguably Brazil's most important player right now and his exploits will be crucial to their chances at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He has scored 70 goals in his international career so far and continues to be one of the best players in the world.

"I don't know if I have the strength of mind to deal with football any more."Neymar expects the 2022 World Cup will be his last 🏆Watch Neymar & The Line Of Kings now exclusively on DAZN bit.ly/NeymarDAZN https://t.co/Dyl4rDEHce

#2 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Argentina v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Argentina v Uruguay - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Lionel Messi finally won a major trophy with the Argentina national team this past summer. Messi was named the Best Player of the Tournament as La Albiceleste won the Copa America after a gap of 28 years.

The 34-year-old left Barcelona in the summer and is part of a star-studded squad at Paris Saint-Germain right now. Messi had led Argentina to the 2014 World Cup final but they fell to an extra-time goal from Germany.

It would have been a crowning achievement for Messi and would have cemented his status as the greatest of all time. But it simply wasn't to be. Messi will get one more go at it next year but it's highly unlikely that we'll see him turn up for the 2026 edition.

Messi will be 39 in 2026 and he would have retired from international football long before that.

#1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16
Belgium v Portugal - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16

Cristiano Ronaldo is 36-years-old but he continues to be one of the most prolific goalscorers on the planet. That being said, his age is starting to catch up with him. He has lost a yard of pace and is no longer an electric presence on the pitch.

Credit goes to him for still being effective and moulding his game to continue to be a reliable player for both club and country. Ronaldo won the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, scoring five goals and providing an assist in four appearances in the tournament.

He has still got it and will be looking towards playing as the main striker for Portugal at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, he will be 41 by the time the 2026 FIFA World Cup rolls in and he is likely to have hung up his boots by then.

⚽️⏰ 8'⚽️⏰ 13'🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored 24 goals in his last 16 World Cup qualifying matches 🔥🔥 https://t.co/ot00daOXHV

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith
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