The epochs in soccer are marked by the validity of the great players. The amount of time in which fans can enjoy the feats and memorable gestures that they give on the field. Unfortunately, every beginning has its end and in Qatar 2022 we could witness the end of the era of several world soccer stars.
From November 20 to December 18, 64 fantastic matches await soccer fans, who will surely want to block those 27 days in their agenda in order to enjoy without interruptions or inconveniences the greatest party that this wonderful sport can offer the world: the FIFA World Cup.
Thus, Qatar 2022 promises to write indelible chapters in the memory of soccer lovers and golden chapters in the great book of World Cup history, especially because some of the stars who could have their last great World Cup dance on their fields are true legends of the sport.
Qatar 2022, the possible last World Cup for these soccer stars
The following list is made up of the top players of the national teams that have already qualified for Qatar 2022, of which there are 29 so far. The remaining 3 places are being fought for by 8 teams that could contribute elements to this list.
The Madeira native has gone on to become a world soccer legend through goals, a never-ending competitive spirit, and an almost military-like discipline with regard to his physical care. At the age of 37, he led Portugal to Qatar 2022, which could well be his last World Cup appearance. Regardless, he will join the select group of players with the most World Cups played in the history of soccer.
Kepler Laveran Lima Ferreira was born in Brazil but became an icon of Portuguese soccer. A multiple Champions League winner with Porto and Real Madrid, he is having a great last stage of his career, which still has him as a pillar of Portugal. At 39 years old, it is hard to imagine that he will play another World Cup after Qatar 2022.
Eating at the same table as Sepp Maier and Oliver Kahn is no small feat. Manuel Neuer is undoubtedly one of the best German goalkeepers in history and the winner of one of his country's four World Cups. Although the careers of goalkeepers are longer than those of other players, at 36 years of age and with tough competition for the starting spot, led by Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Qatar 2022 could be his last World Cup.
Thiago Silva & Dani Alves
Although Brazil has failed to win a World Cup since Korea-Japan 2002, it has maintained its status as an elite team thanks to the contributions of stars such as Thiago Silva and Daniel Alves. If they are considered by Tite, the Chelsea and FC Barcelona players will arrive in Qatar 2022 at the age of 38 and 39, so it is almost a given that it will be their farewell to the World Cup.
Hugo Lloris & Karim Benzema
Two different stories both at the club and national team level, but converging on one point: both Lloris and Benzema are world soccer stars. France should enjoy them in Qatar 2022 because it could mean their last appearance in this tournament, where they will want to say goodbye by winning the championship twice for Les Bleus
A true legend of the sport will arrive at Qatar 2022 as the 36-year old Croatian national team's leading man. Modric came very close to giving his country its first World Cup in 2018, so he will be looking to bid farewell to this tournament by exacting sporting revenge.
Sergio Busquets & Jordi Alba
The last survivors of the great Spanish generation that dominated the world from 2008 to 2012. Alba and Busquets face Qatar 2022, first, with the illusion of being included in Luis Enrique's squad, who has clearly opted for a renewal of his team. If they are called up, both have it clear, it would be their very likely farewell to the World Cups because of the age at which they would play the tournament: 33 and 34 years old respectively.
Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Godin
Like the aforementioned stars, this trio gave Uruguayan soccer its most recent golden age. Suárez, Cavani and Godín lead their national team with the aim of teaching everything they know to the new generations, as Qatar 2022 will most likely be the last time they will enjoy a World Cup on the pitch.
Andres Guardado & Guillermo Ochoa
Ochoa and Guardado began their World Cup journey together in Germany 2006, when they were the Mexican National Team's promising young players. Sixteen years later, they would be attending Qatar 2022 as the great leaders of a team hungry for transcendence. At 36, the Betis midfielder will be saying goodbye to this tournament by including his name in the list of players with the most World Cups played; Ochoa, at 37, could extend his career by taking advantage of the privilege of being a goalkeeper, however, it is not entirely likely and he would do well to consider this edition as the last one he will play in.
Angel di Maria
Although he would arrive at Qatar 2022 at 34 years of age and the possibility of attending another World Cup, El Fideo has already announced that he will retire from the Argentina National Team after the big event at the end of the year. That is why Di María will be looking to do it through the big door, after being part of the squad that finished runner-up in the World Cup in Brazil 2014.
His place in the ranking of the best players in history may be up for debate, but his presence on the list is not. Lionel Messi is one of the greatest in the sport and Qatar 2022 could represent for soccer what Mexico 1970 (Pelé) or USA 1994 (Maradona): his farewell to the most prestigious tournament in the world.