Top 11: Best Star Players Who Retired From International Football
Football is called the beautiful game not just for the extra-ordinary play, but also because of the the mark that some players leave on the fans, inspiring generations to play like them.
FootTheBall has compiled a list of the best 11 players who have hung up their boots (literally) on their international career; some due to age, some wish to focus on their club level performance and some due to recurring injuries. Whatever maybe the reasons, the game will not be the same without them!
The legendary Czech Republic goalkeeper called it a day after his nations group stage exit from Euro 2016.
The Chelsea legend and the current Arsenal stopper said that at his age, he needed extra time to recover in order to prolong his club career.
Cech won 121 international caps for the Czech Republic, the most for his nation.
The Austrian captain retired after serving as the leader for four years.
Fuchs retired after Austria’s exit from the Euro 2016.
Fuchs was also a regular starter for surprise Premier League champions Leicester City last season.
The former captain won 78 caps for the Austrian national team.
The Gunner’s star retired from international football in 2014 after winning the World Cup at the age of 29.
Mertesacker won over 100 caps for the German national team.
The 31-year old took the decision to prolong his career and to focus on his club career as he said he wanted to win trophies with Arsenal.
The former England captain retired from international football in 2012 after allegations of racial abuse.
The Chelsea legend was cleared by the court of law, but the FA conducted their own investigation and Terry retired after it became evident that they would rule him guilty.
The former captain won 78 international caps for the three lions.
The Bayern Munich captain retired from German national team after leading them to World Cup glory in 2014.
Lahm captained the team since 2010, and played every minute of the 2014 WC.
Lahm became a integral part of the German team, and luckily have found a decent replacement in Joshua Kimmich.
The German captain announced his retirement last week, after Germany crashed out of the Euro 2016 following semi-final loss to France.
Schweinsteiger who played for the German national team for over a decade, making 120 appearances.
However, the Bayern Munich legend has been slowed down by multiple injuries in the recent years.
One of the most stylish footballer of the modern generation Xabi Alonso was a core part of the Spanish team that dominated European and World football during late 2000’s and early 2010’s.
Xabi was a part of one of the most dominant midfield’s of the modern day game.
Frank Ribery made his debut for the French national team just a month before the 2006 World Cup, and a string of solid performances helped him cement his place in the squad for the World Cup.
Ribery made 81 appearances for the Les Bleus, but failed to win any accolades with the national team.
Ribery missed the World Cup in 2014 citing injuries but the seriousness of his injury were questioned, after which he retired from international scene.
One of the most shocking retirements in football’s history, Messi shook the world after he announced his retirement from international football after Argentina’s loss to Chile in the Copa America final.
Messi was the best player of the tournament, and outshined some of his other high-profile team-mates but his penalty miss in the final got better of the Barcelona superstar.
Messi also had major issues with the Argentine FA and coaches.
However, it is expected that the 29-year old will make a comeback for the 2018 World Cup.
The Ivory Coast legend Drogba retired from international football in 2014.
Drogba who is an icon in his nation, made 103 appearances for the national team scoring 61 goals.
The Chelsea legend served as the captain of Ivory Coast for oevr eight years and led his team to their first ever World Cup qualification.
The Dynamic superstar has become synonymous with Swedish Football.
The 34-year old retired after a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, but is still considered as the greatest sportsman in Sweden’s history.
Zlatan failed to help Sweden to a title, but helped a comparitively weak Sweden team to multiple World Cup and Euro finals qualification.
Zlatan made 116 appearances for the national team and scored 62 goals for the Scandanavian country.