34-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic has retired from international duty after Sweden’s campaign at the Euros, and Messi, 29 has followed suit after another promising campaign with Argentina ended in disappointing fashion. The likes of Aguero, Di Maria, Mascherano and Higuain are also reported to be considering the same thing. Judging by what has happened or could happen at the Euros, here are 5 players who should hang the boot for their country pronto.
Wazza broke into the Three Lions team in 2004 and has since gone ahead to set a record of most goals in the England shirt. At 30, he isn’t too old for the national team, but he hasn’t been able to add anything again in their pursuit of glory. The skipper has failed to inspire his team to much needed victory when it mattered most in Brazil and in France. His inclusion in the team was even a burden to selection. Rooney can’t be dropped, Hodgson believed. But seeing the next coach stick to having the Red Devils player around is almost impossible. He definitely eyes Russia 2018, but just like he hasn’t been able to help the team for the last 4 tournaments, he won’t be able to in Russia. It’s time for him to go.
What else can Andre Iniesta play for in the Spanish Jersey? He has 2 Euros and 1 World Cup. The Barcelona captain will do himself good by giving way for the younger generation. He has been of great service for Spain, and will always be remembered in the history books for his heroics, most especially his winning goal at the 2010 World Cup finals. After Spain’s poor outings at Brazil and France, Iniesta should just accept it’s time to move on honourably.
The farthest Ronaldo has gone is claiming glory on international level is the semifinals of Euros 2012. He hasn’t been able to help his country when he had the older generation and younger generation. If Portugal wins the Euros or not, Ronaldo should take a bow already. The temptation of playing in Russia will definitely become much given the rate at which the current crop of Portugal international youngsters will have developed by then, but they might never be world beaters. Ronaldo won’t retire, but it is the best thing to do.
3 howlers in France by the Manchester City goalie saw them got Iceland (a blessing in disguise?) and eventually eliminated. If this isn’t an indication that the 29-year-old should quit at the international stage, then what is? He already face being axed by Pep Guardiola at club level and it’s understandable. He has accepted blame for England’s exit, but he must do more by hanging the gloves. It’s time to go Joe. Take Hart!!!
The Spain international didn’t appear for a minute in France, and it should have been so in Brazil too. He was already off top level since the Mourinho closing days at the Bernabeu. Iker should have retired after his Brazil’s fumbles, but he stuck around. He’s not even good enough to be a backup for La Roja, and the legend must take his leave after Spain’s exit.