At the end of any international tournament or once a certain team has been eliminated, we often find out which players have decided to hang up their international boots to concentrate on their final few years with their clubs and families. Alan Shearer retired from international football early some said but he was advised by a former pro to end his duty for his country early while you are still on top and go and spend more time with his family.
International football involves lots of traveling and those players that don't get called-up for friendlies, qualifiers and tournaments get to spend more time with their families which is a blessing in disguise. We're going to take a look at some of the players who could announce their international retirement following the 2022 World Cup.
Portugal, 196-caps, 118-goals
Ronaldo's Portuguese side were knocked out of the 2022 World Cup at the Quarter-Final stage by Morocco. Ronaldo started and scored in Portugal's first group game, becoming the first-player to score at five different World Cups but in Portugal's last two matches he lost his starting role to Ramos and was left in tears at the end of the defeat to Morocco. Could this be the last time we see Ronaldo in a Portugal shirt? The former Man Utd man will be 41 by the time the next World Cup arrives and if he is still playing, he might struggle to get into the squad.
Argentina, 170-caps, 95-goals
Messi is still going strong at the age of 35 with Argentina making it through to the Semi-Finals where they will face Croatia. Whether Messi wins the World Cup or not, the diminutive Argentine forward could decide to hang up his international boots at the end of this tournament as it is unlikely that he will feature in the 2026 World Cup in the USA and Canada but will he bow out in the best possible way later this week?
Brazil, 124-caps, 77-goals
Even before this tournament began, Neymar stated that this was his last chance to win the World Cup with Brazil and now that the South Americans are out, the PSG star might well announce his retirement from international duty. Despite having a few year on Messi and Ronaldo, Neymar looked sluggish in Qatar, like he was trying to conserve as much energy as possible and we only got to see glimmers of the magician now and again.
France, 97-caps, 37-goals
Benzema missed out on the trip to Qatar through injury and with France still in the competition and looking like they will make it back-to-back World Cup titles later this weekend, now might be a good time for Benzema to end his international duty as France are in safe hands with Mbappe leading the line.
Germany, 121-caps, 44-goals
Muller couldn't lift a lackluster Germany side who were eliminated in the group stage at the 2022 World Cup. With his country going through a clear transitional period, now might be the best time for Muller to get out while the good memories outway the bad.
Belgium, 126-caps, 33-goals
Hazard has officially announced his international retirement following Belgium's poor performance in Qatar, despite still only being 31-years-old. Much like Neymar, Hazard looks a shadow of his former self and ending his international responsibilities might just be the best thing for him if he wants to prolong his club career. Injuries have caused Hazard to lose that spark that made him one of the world's best players, can he get that back now that he is able to rest his body on more occasions?
Portugal, 133-caps, 8-goals
Pepe played a big part in Portugal's attempts to win the World Cup this year and at the age of 39, he still looks really fit and strong but his age will surely catch up with him before the next World Cup comes around and Portugal are likely to look to rebuild their squad following the disappointment of a shock exit to Morocco.
Poland, 138-caps, 78-goals
Lewandowski might just decide to call it a day for Poland now that he has finally broken his scoring duck at the World Cup. One of the most talented strikers of his generation, Lewandowski just didn't have the players or manager around him at international duty to have been able to really show us what he can do at the World Cup. Now that he is scoring goals on a regular basis for Barcelona, Lewandowski might just look to get a few more years out of his tiring legs by cutting out the journies he currently makes on a regular basis for his country.
Wales, 111-caps, 41-goals
Similar to Neymar and Hazard, Bale just did not perform at the 2022 World Cup and it looks like the time has come for the Welsh superstar to hang up his international boots to concentrate more on his golf game and deservedly so as he has provided some unforgettable moments for the Wales faithful.
Uruguay, 161-caps, 8-goals
Godin has already dropped a few levels in his club game since the heights of his time at Atletico Madrid and with Uruguay's aging side in need of a refresh, the time is right for Godin to end what has been an impressive international career.
France, 118-caps, 53-goals
Now that he has broken the scoring record for France and with another World Cup in his sight, the end of the 2022 World Cup looks to be the perfect time for Giroud to announce his retirement from international football, especially as Mbappe is developing into the world's best player.
Brazil, 113-caps, 7-goals
Chelsea's veteran centre-back played really well for Brazil at the 2022 World Cup but his team's failure to make it past the Quarter-Finals came as quite a shock. By the time the next World Cup arrives, Silva will be in his 40s and with the talent Brazil produces year-on-year, there isn't likely to be any room in the squad for Silva if indeed he is even still playing football then.
Croatia, 160-caps, 23-goals
37-year-old Luka Modric continues to lead Croatia to dizzy heights but the 2022 World Cup in Qatar feels like his last chance to finally win some silverware with his country. Modric has struggled in some games and is forced to play a much deeper game now in order to conserve his energy. The Real Madrid man still has plenty of talent though and if he is still playing football in 4-years time, don't be surprised if his country come calling once again.
Uruguay, 137-caps, 68-goals
Suarez's World Cup ended in tears as the Uruguay forward was substituted while Uruguay were still in a position to qualify from the group stage. However, results elsewhere changed and Uruguay needed more goals and all the former Barcelona man could do was watch on as his team failed to produce the good once again. Suarez himself looks unable to complete 90-minutes now and Uruguay's squad looked old and tired, so he may well be forced to hang up his boots before the next Uruguay squad is announced.