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Players retiring after EURO 2016


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Messi’s decision to retire from international football has shocked the footballing world which is about to endure some more heartaches. EURO 2016 is/was the final major tournament for a number of amazing players that have graced the international stage for the past decade or so.

Summer of 2016 will be remembered as the one in which we’ve lost some of the world’s biggest names from the international stage. SofaScore takes a look at top players for whom EURO 2016 is the last major tournament.

Long standing Spain captain, Iker Casillas (35), appears to have retired from the Spanish national side after Spain’s 2-0 defeat to Italy.

The celebrated goalkeeper was under heavy criticism for years and has lost his no. 1 spot to David De Gea. Having not played a single minute at the tournament, he appeares to have posted on twitter a clear message of his retirement. Casillas made his debut in 2000 in a friendly against Sweden and went to his first EURO in 2000 as a 19-year-old back-up to Santiago Canizares. He will be remembered as the captain of the most successful generation in the history of Spanish football.

Patrice Evra (35) is defying his age according to Rio Ferdinand who can’t believe his former teammate is still playing at the highest level, representing France at EURO 2016 as first-choice left back. His performances so far have even prompted Juventus to tie him down for two more years, but it is highly unlikely he will also continue to represent Les Bleus.

Darijo Srna (34) has had a hugely emotional tournament. He captained Croatia to the top of Group D, despite attending his father’s funeral in the days between the games. Croatia were tipped even for the final, but crashed rather unluckily to Portugal in the round of 16. His displays have shown that at 34 he is still among Europe’s finest right-wing crossers. He has scored 22 goals from his full-back position, with his finest moment being Euro 2008 when he scored in a 2-1 victory over Germany.

World Cup winner in 2006 with Italy, Andrea Barzagli (35) could call an end to his international career with another medal around his neck. Alongside Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci he has forged a formidable barrier in front of Buffon and if Italy were to win the title it will be much thanks to their defensive efforts.

The oldest among the bunch, Ricardo Carvalho is still going strong at 38. Through his illustrious career he has represented Portugal 89 times which is not a huge number of caps considering his age and reputation. However, he was exiled for three years from the national team for an argument with former manager Paulo Bento.

Winner od EURO 2008 and 2012, and the spine of 2010 World Cup-winning team, Andres Iniesta, has hinted at retirement after failure against Italy. He is the second out of three Spanish players we might have seen for the last time wearing La Roja jersey and it marks and end to a golden generation that dominated world football.

The third player is of course Pedro. Although he is still just 28, the lack of game time at the EURO has brought great disappointment for the former Barca winger. He was quoted as saying that it’s not worth being a part of the national squad if you are not going to play. The tensions have seemingly been put to rest, but with La Roja needing a serious overhaul, Pedro might have effectively ended his international career.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (31) is probably playing his last tournament for Germany. At 31 one would think that there is still some fuel left in his tank, but an injury plagued season with Manchester United suggests otherwise. He is in a supporting role at EURO 2016, coming off the bench when needed (although he did score in this tournament), but it is hard to see him endure until the World Cup in two years time.

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At one time, Ricardo Quaresma was considered as a brighter prospect than his peer Cristiano Ronaldo, but a rather troubling mindset has cost him to live up to his enormous potential. With 54 caps he is the least capped player of our selection, and one has to wonder what heights he might have achieved if he was blessed with Ronaldo’s hunger for success. The duo saw Portugal edge Croatia by a single goal and hinted at their title ambitions. Quaresma has not yet expressed his intentions, but with 33 years on his back it’s hard to see him continue for Portugal.

 

It might come as a surprise that Tomas Rosicky has made 105 caps for Czech Republic considering his injury plagued career, but the skillful midfielder was an essential part of the national team for years. He played a solid tournament at EURO 2016 with Czech’s high point coming in a 2-2 draw against Croatia.

And last, we have the player whose exit from the international stage has attracted the most interest – Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The towering striker has retired as Sweden’s all-time top scorer with 62 goals. Although he failed to make a significant impact with Sweden on the international stage, his charisma and signature moves will be dearly missed

Summer of 2016 will be remembered as the one in which we’ve lost some of the world’s biggest names from the international stage. SofaScore takes a look at top players for whom EURO 2016 is the last major tournament.

Long standing Spain captain, Iker Casillas (35), appears to have retired from the Spanish national side after Spain’s 2-0 defeat to Italy.

The celebrated goalkeeper was under heavy criticism for years and has lost his no. 1 spot to David De Gea. Having not played a single minute at the tournament, he appeares to have posted on twitter a clear message of his retirement. Casillas made his debut in 2000 in a friendly against Sweden and went to his first EURO in 2000 as a 19-year-old back-up to Santiago Canizares. He will be remembered as the captain of the most successful generation in the history of Spanish football.


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