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Top 5 Players to Retire after the Forthcoming Euro 2024 in Germany

  Administrator June 10, 2024

The monthlong Euro 2024 tournament in Germany will mark the end of an era for several football legends who have graced the sport for many years. Here are a few of these iconic players who might be making their final appearances at a European Championship:

Here’s a list of the top five players who are making their final Euros appearance at the 2024 event:

Cristiano Ronaldo

 

After being called up by Portugal coach Roberto Martinez, Cristiano Ronaldo is set to play at the Euros for a record sixth time.

At 39 years old, it’s a remarkable achievement for the talismanic forward, whose athleticism and fitness levels have defied age. He remains an important player for Portugal, but the 2024 edition is almost certainly the last time fans will enjoy the “Ronaldo experience” at the Euros.

Ronaldo, the highest scorer in international football, will be 43 when the next Euros take place, making his participation highly unlikely. Hungary goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly holds the record for the oldest player at the European Championships at 40 years and 86 days.

Neither Ronaldo nor Portugal have addressed his international future, but given the demanding nature of a forward’s role, it would take nothing less than a miracle for a 40-something player to keep going for another four years until Euro 2028.

However, there is some potentially positive news for Portugal fans post-Euro 2024 – Ronaldo hasn’t ruled out competing in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Toni Kroos

Midfielder Toni Kroos will hang up his boots forever at the end of the Euros as he tries to lead a fading Germany outfit to a dream championship on home soil.

In what is being called the German’s “last dance” at Euro 2024, it’s also his last chance to win a final trophy, as Kroos has just announced his retirement from club football with Real Madrid as well.

The 34-year-old had already retired from international competition in 2021 but reversed his decision after talks with national coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Known for his sublime creativity, vision, and set-piece ability, Kroos was part of Germany’s all-powerful World Cup-winning team in 2014 and the 2010 squad that came third.

The central midfielder will step away from the sport as one of the most decorated players in history, having helped Real Madrid win an astounding 23 trophies.

Few would begrudge—or underestimate—the likable Kroos capping off a stellar career by winning a fairytale European Championship trophy for the host nation.

Olivier Giroud

One of the most underrated strikers ever, France’s Olivier Giroud, will step down from international duty after this edition of the Euros, ending his 13-year journey with the national team.

Giroud, who is his country’s all-time top scorer with 57 goals in 131 appearances, said he decided to retire to “make way for the youngsters.”

The 37-year-old failed to find the net during France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, but scored an impressive four goals during their 2022 campaign in Qatar, where they lost the final to Argentina.

Giroud said he has no specific playing time expectations for the Euros but hopes to experience a deep run with France’s next generation of players in what will be his final international tour of duty.

Once the Euros are over, Giroud, now very much in the twilight of his decorated career, will continue playing club football for at least two years, having recently signed with Major League Soccer (MLS) team Los Angeles FC on a free transfer from Italian side AC Milan.

Luka Modrić

Modric began his international journey with Croatia as an impactful reserve way back at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Now 38, he is in the final stages of a superlative career, with his ability to single-handedly change the outcome of big games slowly diminishing.

The creative midfielder’s club football career has just been extended after he signed a new one-year contract with Real Madrid, keeping him at the club until 2025.

Despite his age, Modric will still be a key player for Croatia at the Euros, orchestrating the attack and directing his team from the midfield.

Having led Croatia to a historic second-place finish at the 2018 World Cup and a third spot at the 2022 World Cup, Modric would love nothing more than to upset the titans of the sport and capture the Euro 2024 silverware in his last international hurrah in Germany.

Manuel Neuer

The 2024 Euro championship is expected to be the last for Germany’s decorated goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who turned 38 in March.

Neuer has not played for the national team since the 2022 World Cup, where they were knocked out in the group stage. Unfortunately, the 1.93-metre (6-foot-4-inch) German fractured his leg on holiday after the tournament and was sidelined for almost a year.

The Bayern Munich shot-stopper was expected to make his comeback for Germany during the international friendlies in March but picked up another injury in training, leaving Marc-Andre ter Stegen to fill in.

Despite being Germany’s first-choice keeper, Neuer will likely not play every match at the Euros as coach Julian Nagelsmann has selected four goalkeepers in his provisional squad to manage the workload of his injury-prone star.

However, if Neuer can shake off the injury shackles and get his opportunity at Euro 2024, the hometown German fans will have one last chance to cheer on the unique exploits of the “sweeper keeper,” known for his bold habit of roaming deep into the outfield to challenge attackers.

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