Going out on top is the dream of every professional athlete, but rarely does that dream become a reality.

Miroslav Klose is one of the lucky ones. Germany’s all-time leading scorer entered what would be his final World Cup in 2014 with a chance to make history, and became the tournament’s all-time leading scorer with his 16th World Cup goal. Die Mannschaft would go on to win the tournament, and Klose retired from international football at the peak of his career.

Who in 2018 could “pull a Klose” and lift the trophy in their final World Cup appearance? Here are 10 footballers likely playing for the last time on football’s biggest stage.

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Radamel Falcao, 32, Colombia

Despite being his country’s all-time leading goal scorer, Falcao has yet to suit up for a World Cup match.

Falcao played a crucial role in Colombia’s qualification in 2014, but a torn ACL forced the striker to miss the tournament. Colombia would go on to reach the quarterfinals – its best-ever showing at a World Cup – while its main goal-scoring threat watched from home.

Now, coming off a pair of stellar seasons with French club AS Monaco during which he scored 54 total goals, Falcao will make his debut (and likely only) appearance in the World Cup as a young, exciting Colombia side looks to build on the success of four years ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, Portugal

Would it be entirely shocking if, at 37, Ronaldo suited up for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar? Not at all.

But it’s not likely. Over the last couple of seasons, the speed that made Ronaldo so dangerous from out wide has diminished and, while the Portuguese star remains among the world’s best scorers, it’s just the first sign that even the world’s best athletes can’t delay Father Time for long.

That means 2018 could be the last chance for one of the all-time greats to claim World Cup glory. Despite featuring in three World Cups in his time with the Portuguese national team and his tendency to come up big when his country needs him …read more

Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news

      

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Curtain call: 10 veterans likely playing in their last World Cup

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