World Cup 2018: 9 Players Playing in their Fourth World Cup and One Playing his Fifth
Every football player has one goal - to play in a FIFA World Cup. Sure, they dream about putting on their favourite club's kit and winning the Champions League but the World Cup is an altogether different spectacle.
While most players dream of playing in the World Cup at least once in their lives, this group of players will be playing in their fourth tournament. Having played in all World Cups since 2006, which of these players could win it in 2018?
Bonus: Do you know which player is playing in his fifth World Cup?
#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
With five Ballon d'Ors and countless other records to his name, there is no doubt that Lionel Messi will go down in history as one of the greatest footballers of all time. But when he swaps the Blaugrana shirt for the blue-white stripes of Argentina, it is a different story altogether.
Messi is still in Diego Maradona's shadow because he has failed to win international trophies with La Albiceleste. The only silverware he has won with the national team is the U-20 World Cup and an Olympic gold medal (effectively an U-23 tournament).
Messi may have been found weeping in the dressing room after he was sent off on his international debut in 2005 but he did make the squad for the 2006 World Cup. Although he started on the bench, he would make his World Cup debut against Serbia and Montenegro to become the youngest player ever to put on an Argentina shirt at a World Cup.
Manager Jose Pekerman did not use Messi as much as the fans would have liked and he was widely criticised when he was dropped to the bench for the quarter-final where Argentina lost to Germany on penalties.
2010 saw him play under Diego Maradona himself who deployed him as a withdrawn forward - almost like a playmaker - where he excelled. Messi played creator more than goalscorer but it was the defence that proved to be their downfall, losing to Germany yet again in the quarter-finals.
2014 was arguably his best chance to win the trophy and put to rest the debate of greatness for good. Messi scored 4 goals, even saving a dire Argentina on a couple of occasions in the group stage on their way to the final.
However, it was Germany yet again who spoiled the party with a 1-0 win in extra-time to deny Messi and co for a third straight time. Only this time, it was in the final.
Although Messi did win the Golden Ball, his sombre expression as he received the trophy suggested he really did not care for trinkets after he had lost out on the biggest trophy of all.