Football's biggest extravaganza FIFA World Cup 2018 is just nine days away and the hype around it is going sky high with each passing day. Russia will be hosting the mega event for the first time. In the edition in 2014, Germany became the World Champion after they defeated Lionel Messi's Argentina 1-0 in a hard-fought match. This time a lot is at stake for many teams like Spain that underperformed last time, France with some serious young talent, Brazil, who were thrashed by Germany in semi-finals in the last edition, Argentina that concluded as runners-up and Portugal, who are riding high on Euro Cup 2016 success.
2018 FIFA World Cup will start from 15th June and it might be the last World Cup for many players who want to achieve this ultimate glory.
Here is the list of players who might play their last World Cup in Russia.
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Argentinian magician Lionel Messi might play his last FIFA World Cup this time after his team lost the finals last time. Russia might prove to be the final ride for the G.O.A.T to prove his superiority above any other player. The 30-year-old winger was the golden ball winner last time in Brazil for his extraordinary performance that drove Argentina to the finals. After the 2016 Copa America Final, Messi announced his retirement after his team lost the consecutive finals. But later he came back and helped Argentina qualify for the 2018 edition of the FIFA World Cup.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Real Madrid's goal-scoring machine, Cristiano Ronaldo, is 33-year-old and might be playing his last world cup for the national team. Ronaldo is considered as the world best player along with his arch-rival Lionel Messi. Portugal won the Euro Cup in 2016 under Ronaldo's leadership and this might be his last chance to seal the only trophy he doesn't have in his well-decorated cabinet. Ronaldo will be entering the tournament with full confidence after recent Champions League success.
3. Andres Iniesta (Spain)
The best mid-fielder of this era, Andres Iniesta, might be playing his last International tournament. Iniesta is one of the most reputed players in the Spanish football history. Even though Iniesta had tasted the World Cup success in 2010, the Don of Football wouldn't mind to achieve the glory once again. Iniesta recently left Spanish giants Barcelona after long 16 years of illustrious career and joined a Japanese league club. These are the indications that the 34-year-old will announce retirement after the World Cup.
4. Manuel Neuer (Germany)
The defending world champions Germany owe their 2014 World Cup success to their ace Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Neuer is returning to the football ground after almost a year. The Bayern Munich captain was the Golden Glove winner in the last World Cup. Going by his age, this might me the last World Cup for the 32-year-old player. Neuer will definitely want to continue his last time's form to help his team defend the title in Russia.
5. Sergio Ramos (Spain)
Real Madrid skipper Sergio Ramos would like to continue his club momentum with the national team in the Russia World Cup. Ramos was the part of Spain's 2010 World Cup winning campaign, where his team beat Netherlands in the final of the tournament. Ramos is currently 32-year-old that indicates he might retire after the World Cup. Ramos is one of the world's best defenders, his performance will have a big impact on Spain's World Cup chances in Russia.
-Written by Aditya Maheshwari