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Five players who could make a comeback in Russia 2018

Written by: Aniket Surve

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The quadrennial tournament is the pinnacle of international football and could force some of these players to come back for one last hurrah.

Retirement is the most difficult part of a career for a player but unfortunately, everyone has to embrace it sooner or later. The zest for achieving more and more never fades even after retirement, which forces some players to wear those hanged boots once again and chase their unaccomplished goals.

Let's take a look at Five players who could revert their decision and play for the national team in 2018 FIFA World Cup.

1. David Villa

Villa is already considered a Spanish legend

The Spaniard never completely retired from international football. The leading goal scorer (59 goals) for ‘La Roja’ called time on his international career after Spain’s early exit from the 2014 World Cup, Since that day he has openly expressed his desire to adorn the national jersey again.  

The former Barcelona forward was made part of the Spain national team for the 2018 World Cup qualification campaign after his sensational form at New York City FC. The talisman has scored a mammoth 63 goals in a mere 94 matches for the MLS outfit.

The rejuvenated form of the star forward and his strong desire to play for the national team raises the possibilities of finding him in Spain’s squad for Russia 2018.

2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic retired from international football in 2016

The Swedish striker retired from international football after an unsuccessful campaign of Euro 2016. Sweden finished at the bottom of their group with just one point.

At the age of 36, the striker hasn't faded as other players of similar ages do. The Swedish Don was a crucial player for Manchester United in the 2016-17 season scoring 17 goals from 28 matches with almost similar spark and acrobatics as he used to possess at his peak.

His coveted career still seems incomplete as he is yet to win an international trophy with his national team. With Sweden qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and his hunger still unsatisfied there is a chance we can see the #10 back in the national team helping them compete at the mega event.

3. Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney can provide the much-needed experience to the England side at the World Cup

Rooney announced his retirement from international football with less than a year left for the tournament in Russia. His decision came as a shock for everyone as he was expected to play a major role for the Three Lions at the tournament.

With just a few months left for the mega event, the pressure on the English talisman will be on the rise with each passing day to change his decision.

England’s coach Gareth Southgate recently said that he wants to keep Rooney involved with the national side in whichever way possible. Thus, there is the possibility of him influencing Rooney to change his mind.

The attacker has scored a record 183 goals for his former club Manchester United and another 53 for the Three Lions. The increasing pressure and his team’s needs may force him to revert his decision and play for his country again at the 2018 World Cup.


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4. Karim Benzema

Benzema is arguably the most effective French striker at the moment

Benzema has not featured for the national team after his “ sex tape” controversy which led to him being banned indefinitely. The Real Madrid striker who is often considered as a “big match player ” has scored 124 goals for Real Madrid and another 27 for his national side to back his amazing goalscoring talent.

The 30-year old has had a good time at the Spanish giants helping them win three Champions League titles, three Club World Cups and two La Liga crowns. Considering his past performances for Les Bleus and his amazing reign at Real Madrid the French Football Federation and Coach Didier Deschamps may consider him to be a part of the French national team for the 2018 World Cup.

5. Oscar

Oscar is currently plying his trade in China

The Ex Chelsea midfielder has been sidelined from the national squad for a long period now. The 26-year old was last seen in the national jersey in 2016 during Brazil's World Cup qualification campaign.

Following that the youngster became a forgotten name after suffering a series of injuries and his surprise move from Stamford Bridge to Shanghai FC in the Chinese Super League League which brought him in the bad books of the football world.

Oscar has scored 12 goals for the national side and was involved in numerous goals due to his precise passing and fluid dribbling before getting dropped from the squad. Brazilian coach Tite will surely pick a player of such stature at the big tournament. Thus, we are very likely to see Oscar in Brazil’s squad for the mega event.

The creative midfielder who was once compared to the likes of Kaka and Mesut Ozil will be eager to regain his lost fame and showcase his brilliant skills in the 2018 World Cup.

Published: Thu Feb 22, 2018 04:48 PM IST

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