By the end of every World Cup, veteran players also mark the end of their international career. Regardless of the result, may it be a success or a failure, these players have already made a decision for their future, and one big step is retirement from international duties. Here are some of the best soccer players who decided to hang up their boots at the end of the World Cup 2022.
Karim Benzema (France)
Just a day after France’s failure to clinch back-to-back World Cup, Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football. The Ballon d’Or winner ended his World Cup hopes even before the tournament begins when he picked up a thigh injury during training. Benzema was France’s top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, the last time he played in the tournament for Les Bleus. More soccer fixtures updates here!
“I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it! I have written my story and ours is ending,” Benzema wrote on his 35th birthday. The Real Madrid talisman scored 10 goals in 16 games after his return last year to reach 37 overall. He was also France’s top scorer in the European Championship last year. Follow us for more international soccer updates.
Eden Hazard (Belgium)
Following Belgium’s early exit in the World Cup, midfielder Eden Hazard confirmed his retirement from international football. The 31-year-old played in all three World Cup games in Qatar, scoring only 1, in a 1-0 win over Canada. Belgium crashed out of the tournament after the 2-0 loss to Morocco and a goalless draw with Croatia in the final group games clash.
“Thank you for all this happiness since 2008,” Hazard wrote in his social media accounts. “I have decided to put an end to my international career. The succession is ready. I will miss you.” The Real Madrid playmaker made his Belgium debut in 2008 at the age of 17, becoming the eighth youngest player for his country, then going on to play at three World Cups and two European Championships.
Sergio Busquets (Spain)
Spain’s World Cup winner Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from international duty. The Barcelona midfielder was part of the Spain team who won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2012. In the recently concluded World Cup, Busquets missed Spain’s final penalty against Morocco in the shoot-out that knocked them out of the tournament.
“After almost 15 years and 143 matches, I’d like to announce that it is time to say goodbye to the national team,” Busquets wrote on social media. Busquets has 143 caps with Spain, scoring two goals. He also holds a record of most World Cup appearances for his country, with only Sergio Ramos (180) and Iker Casillas (167) playing more games for Spain.
Wahbi Khazri (Tunisia)
Regarded as one of Tunisia’s football great, Wahbi Khazri has also confirmed his retirement from the national team. Khazri scored the only goal of the game against then defending champions and eventual runners-up France 1-0 in their final Group D match. However, it was not enough for them to progress in the next round as they drew and lost their first two games against Denmark and Australia respectively.
Khazri ended his international career after nearly a decade with Tunisia, with his debut dated in January 2013, while his first goal came in a World Cup qualifying win over Sierra Leone two months later. He represented his country at two World Cups, scoring 25 goals in 74 caps, becoming the country’s second-highest goalscorer of all time.
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