5 great scorers who never won the football World Cup

For a footballer, there is nothing quite like winning the World Cup for the country. Many of the game’s most iconic players like Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, have had the privilege of winning the World Cup. 


However, there are plenty of all-time great scorers of the game who have never won soccer’s most coveted prize. There are some amazing football players, the greatest scorers of football, who could never win the World Cup trophy and while this doesn’t mean they aren’t legends, it does leave us with a strong feeling of what it ‘could have been’. Here is a list of 5 such players.

 

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Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

One of the greatest scorers of football, Cristiano Ronaldo has won the UEFA Euro Cup with Portugal in 2016, three Premier League titles, two La Liga titles, the Champions League five times, and the Ballon d’Or five times. One of the most decorated players in the game’s history is missing one major accomplishment, that is, the World Cup. He will be 37 by the time Qatar World Cup is played and it seems unlikely that he will participate in the tournament, even if Portugal qualifies. 

 

 

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Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi’s Argentina were beaten 4-3 by France in the last 16 in 2018 World Cup, and having prematurely retired from international football in 2016, this is likely to be the 31-year-old’s last World Cup appearance. The closest he came to lifting the World Cup came in 2014, an extra-time defeat by Germany in Brazil. If our worst fears turn out to be true, Lionel Messi will not be playing the next World Cup and hence it will be the trophy that ‘the best player to play the game’, would never be able to lay his hands on. 

 

 

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Ferenc Puskas (Hungary)

Losing the World Cup final to West Germany with the Hungary team in 1954 was one of Ferenc Puskas’ most disappointing moments in his professional soccer career. Playing until he was 39, the top-level player scored 514 club goals within 530 appearances. Regarded to be one of the greatest of all time, Puskas career as a forward was one of the most memorable ones to date. During the 1954 World Cup, he was named the best player of the tournament without winning the Cup, which is still regarded to be one of the biggest World Cup upsets. Plus, he won three out of the five European Cups he attended in eight years, as well as five straight La Liga titles.

 

 

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Eusebio (Portugal)

Eusebio played in one World Cup, but made his mark, scoring a tournament-high nine goals and leading Portugal to a third-place finish in 1966. The Mozambican-born Portuguese forward scored an unbelievable 423 goals in 431 appearances at club level and another 41 for the Portuguese national team. Most known for his technique, speed, and spot-on shot, Eusebio was an incredible goal scorer and a groundbreaking athlete. Nicknamed Black Panther, Eusebio is still Portugal’s most renowned player.

 

 

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)

Zlatan played his football for the European giants like Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, A.C. Milan, PSG and Manchester United. One of the prolific scorers in the history of the game, Ibrahimovic also has netted 62 goals for his native Sweden, but unfortunately, there was never enough talent around him to make winning a World Cup a possibility. With Ibrahimovic, Sweden did not qualify for the World Cup in 2010 and 2014 and it’s only strange that without him, they have reached the quarterfinal this time. He participated in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup, as well, but the team could only make it to the round of 16, both the times.

 

5 footballers who have won the Champions League, World Cup and Premier League

5 footballers who have won the Champions League, World Cup and Premier League

Winning major trophies is what every professional footballer dreams of, but there are only five stars in the history of the game to have won a FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and English Premier League. 


The UEFA Champions League is a yearly encounter between top clubs in Europe battling it out to be regarded as the best club in world football while the FIFA World Cup takes place once in 4 years as the world’s top nations compete to be named as the top football-playing countries in the world. Premier League is one of the most exciting leagues in the world, which is most watched. 

 

Here are the five players who have won the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and Premier League.

 

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Thierry Henry

His football career started with Monaco youth ranks under manager Arsene Wenger, from where he moved to Juventus where he majorly played as a left winger. Post-2000, Henry got converted into a striker and became one of the most feared players in Europe. He then moved to Arsenal where he won Premier League two times, and then to Barcelona where the team captured the Champions League Trophy in 2008-2009. Henry had a fantastic career with France as he won the FIFA World Cup, Euro Championship in 2000, FIFA Confederation Cup in 2003 and also reached the finals of FIFA World Cup 2006.

 

 

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Fabien Barthez

Fabien Barthez is a player underrated by many football fans, dismissed as a clown that can only be relied upon to eventually make a mistake. While it is true that he had his moments, what shouldn’t be forgotten is his outstanding record as a goalkeeper. He won the Premier League with Manchester United in 2000-01 and 2002-03, UEFA Champions League with Marseille in 1992-93 and 1998 FIFA World Cup with France.

Throughout France’s victorious World Cup campaign, Barthez was an integral part of the team, letting in just two goals in the seven matches Les Bleus played. He was given the Yashin award for those performances, as well as being named European Goalkeeper of the Year, an award he would win again in 2000.

 

 

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Juliano Belletti

Juliano Belletti is another player in this elite list. Belletti, who won the 2002 World Cup with Brazil, had spells in Europe at Villarreal, Barcelona, and Chelsea, winning two La Liga titles, one Premier League trophy, and a Champions League title. He won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2005-06, Premier League with Chelsea in 2009-10 and 2002 FIFA World Cup with Brazil. In 2015, he retired from international football.

 

 

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Gerard Pique

Spanish center-back Gerard Pique is another star to win the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and Premier League. In 2007-08 he won the Premier League with Manchester United, UEFA Champions League with United in 2007-08 and with Barcelona in 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2014-15. He won the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain in South Africa.

 

 

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Pedro Rodriguez

Chelsea footballer Pedro Rodriguez won UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2014-15, he won Premier League with Chelsea in 2016-17 and World Cup with Spain. Pedro started his career with Barcelona and stayed there for 9 seasons before moving to Chelsea in 2015. Since 2010 he has played in 64 matches for the Spain national team and scored 17 goals. His honors with the national team: winner of the UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Pavard – A stunner to win the FIFA Goal of the Tournament award

FIFA Goal of the Tournament award – Benjamin Pavard

Prior to the encounter between Argentina and France, there were only a few candidates for FIFA’s goal of the tournament award. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was leading the charts with his free-kick against Spain in the first round of the group stages.

However, the right-back’s crucial equalizer against Argentina in the knock-out stages stood out the most in the tournament. At 2-1, Argentina were in the driver seat in the game, when the right-back decided to knock the ball as fierce as possible.

Benjamin Pavard’s spinner of a right-footed shot went like a bullet across the net to give France the equalizer. Pavard could not have found a better time and place to net a goal, and with that stunner went up to his market price and bidders.

What a Stunner:

France went on to become the eventual champions of World Cup, beating Croatia 4-2 in the final. The build-up of the goal was rather simple, with a left-wing cross from Lucas Hernandez which was met in fine fashion before Argentina realized that they were level in the game.

https://khelpanda.com/blog/top-5-goals-fifa-world-cup-2018/

Not a bad effort from the others:

The second place, however, went to the strike from the Columbian winger Quintero who rolled a free-kick straight into the net against Japan in the group stage. A brilliant left-footed strike from the Columbian found the back of the net against the outstretching hands of the Japanese goalkeeper.

Golden Ball winner and Croatian skipper Luka’s Modric’s strike against Argentina came third from the top of the list of top goals scored in the tournament. Modric flung his right boot and netted the ball right into the nets with an outstanding finish that would have made an array of forwards real proud.

Pavard’s goal was selected out of 18 candidates who scored brilliant goals in Russia. The France defender received more than three million votes on FIFA’s website.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Flop XI

FIFA World Cup 2018 Flop XI

Every World Cup has some standout performers, players that will be remembered for a very long time. At the same time, some players had forgettable tournaments and performed way below average. So let’s see who made our 2018 FIFA World Cup flop XI.

GK- David De Gea (Spain)

De Gea was widely renowned as the best shot-stopper in the present-day, and the Spaniard has proved his credentials on multiple occasions. But De Gea had a shambolic 2018 World Cup and looked completely out of place.

LB-Raphael Guerrero (Portugal)

The Borussia Dortmund left-back was poor in Russia. Guerrero was ineffective with his crosses and even made some blunders in defence, letting Edinson Cavani run in from behind and shoot in the Round of 16 was the most prominent one.

CB- Jerome Boateng (Germany)

Jerome Boateng was poor for Bayern Munich last Season and the German Centre-back carried his poor form into the World Cup. Boateng looked out of place and was even sent off against Sweden. Horrific Performance.

CB- Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina)

Otamendi was an integral part of Man City’s title-winning Season but without Guardiola to Manage him, Otamendi looked like a shadow of his usual self in this World Cup. 

RB- Joshua Kimmich (Germany)

Joshua Kimmich is a talented player and is the Future of the German team, but the 23-Year-old, like most of his compatriots, had a World Cup to Forget.

CDM- Sami Khedira (Germany)

Sami Khedira looked sluggish and ineffective in Midfield. His performances were way below average and the 2014 World Cup winner just didn’t show up.

CM- David Silva (Spain)

David Silva is undoubtedly one of the best Midfielders going around and the Man City player came off a very good Season in the Premier League. But the Spaniard couldn’t work his magic in Russia and his passing was surprisingly inaccurate. 

CAM- Thomas Muller (Germany) 

Muller has the highest number of World Cup Goals for an active player (10). The German International didn’t even come close to add to his tally and was probably Germany’s most disappointing player.

CF- Lionel Messi (Argentina)

This may have been the GOAT’s last World Cup appearance ever and it’s disappointing to see that he turned up only against Nigeria with one Goal. The rest of the tournament was forgettable for Messi and it’s a shame that this could very well be his last.  

End of the World Cup for Messi and Ronaldo?

ST- Timo Werner

Werner is the fifth and Final German on the list and was supposed to be one of the Players to watch out for in Russia. The Leipzig Striker showed blistering pace but had nothing else going for him in the 2018 World Cup. 

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

 

The Polish captain scored 16 Goals in the World Cup qualifiers and is even regarded as the Best striker in modern-day Football by many. Lewandowski didn’t find the back of the net in Russia, 0 Goals in 270 Minutes. Disappointing is an understatement.

Top 5 Goals | FIFA World Cup 2018

Kross Free Kick Goals

The 2018 World Cup has come to a close after 30 days of electrifying and exciting Football. It has been a World Cup that’s broken all stereotypes, big teams disappointed, Underdogs shone, and we witnessed some jaw-dropping Goals. Picking 5 goals wasn’t easy so we have a few honorable mentions as well. So here’s a list of our Top 5 Goals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

5. Denis Cheryshev VS Croatia

Denis Cheryshev’s curler from outside the box was one of Russia’s top moments in the World Cup. After a quick one-two with Dzyuba, Cheryshev slotted the ball into the top left corner. Genius!

4. Toni Kroos VS Sweden

Toni Kroos scored a peach of a Free Kick in the 94th Minute against Sweden. Kroos rolled the ball to Marco Reus who perfectly teed it up for the Real Madrid Midfielder. 

3. Ivan Perisic VS France

Ivan Perisic can tell his Grandchildren that he had the honour of scoring a goal in the Final of the World Cup. Perisic’s first touch perfectly set up the shot in the box and the Finish was sublime!

2. Cristiano Ronaldo VS Spain

Ronaldo scored a blinder against Spain actually he scored three, but we’re highlighting the Free-Kick. Ronaldo didn’t go for the knuckleball like he usually does instead he Curled the ball beautifully over Sergio Busquets and Gerrard Pique. 

1. Benjamin Pavard VS Argentina

Every World Cup needs to have a Goal that defies Physics, logic and pretty much everything else. Pavard’s Goal perfectly fits that description, a sensational Strike from the French Right-Back.

Honourable Mentions

Luka Modric vs Argentina

Ricardo Quaresma vs Iran

Kevin De Bruyne vs Brazil

Philippe Coutinho vs Switzerland

Jesse Lingard vs Panama

Courtois – Golden Glove winner | FIFA World Cup

Thibaut Courtois - Golden Glove winner

Belgian shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois starred as he played a key role to Belgium’s run into the semi-finals of the  FIFA World Cup. He has been awarded the Golden glove for his achievements ahead of the likes of Hugo Loris and Subasic. 

Courtois is the second Belgian to win the accolade after Michel Preud’homme claimed it 24 years ago at the 1994 World Cup in the United States. Until 2006, the award was called the Yashin Award in honor of the legendary Soviet goalkeeper, Yev Lashin.

Courtois pulled off some amazing performances this world cup and proved to the World that he is truly on of the best there is in this modern era. And the interest from Real Madrid is just a testament to that claim. The Chelsea star has not had the best of seasons for the club but has certainly had one of the best World cup’s in Russia. He made crucial saves and kept more clean sheets and won the award ahead of World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Hugo Loris who also had a fantastic Worldcup. 

Speaking after the third-place match, he cast a further shadow on his future at Stanford Bridge. He said he will take some time before he goes back to London and takes a call on his future. He also said controversially that Hazard must follow him wherever he goes. 

“Wherever I go, Hazard must come along. We will not let each other go. We’ll see. Now first vacation. And agree with my entourage in between.” Courtois said.

“Now I’m going to talk to my manager to see what the possibilities are.

“All options are open to me. Also stay at Chelsea, yes. People always complain that players do not comply with their contracts, but maybe I will.

“I do not think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I do not sign. But maybe that’s possible because I like being in London.”

After winning the Golden Glove at the World cup and joining elite company in the form of Manuel Nuer, Iker Casillas, and Oliver Khan, Courtois has all the qualities in him that make him one of the best in today’s game. 

World Cup 2018: Revelation XI

Revelation XI - World Cup

The World Cup is the biggest platform in football. The greatest players are put to the task of taking their country as far as they can. The same old faces perform in new shirts and dazzle the fans, but sometimes, a few fresh faces surprise the fans and critics all around the world.

Here, we take a look at the eleven fresh players who stood out and awed the fans in the World Cup.

 

(GK) Cho Hyun-Woo

The Korean stopper made quite a name for himself following his sensational performance against Germany where he made 6 saves to deny the Germans a single goal in the game which South Korea won 2-0. The 26-year-old, who plays for Daegu FC, has surely impressed a number of teams.

(RB) Benjamin Pavard 

One of the hottest prospects in the game right now, Pavard has been indispensable for France, playing 6 matches and scoring a screamer against Argentina. The 22-year-old Stuttgart defender has not lost a single game in French colors playing for the u-19u-21 and the senior team.

(CB) Yerry Mina 

A standout performer in the World Cup, Yerry Mina, scored 3 goals in 3 matches setting a new record in the World Cup. The 23-year-old Barcelona defender proved his worth on the biggest stage in football.

(CB) Domagoj Vida 

The 29-year-old defender, Vida, has been consistent at the back and registered a goal and an assist in his 6 matches in the World Cup. The Besiktas player has been linked to multiple teams after his performances in the tournament and might get a well-deserved move to a bigger club.

(LB) Lucas Hernandez 

The Atletico man was in top form for France in the World Cup. After making his international debut in March 2018, The 22-year-old ended his campaign with the highest number of assists (2) and tackles (16) by any defender.

(DM) Lucas Torreira 

One of the best performers in the Uruguayan outfit, Torreira, played in all 5 matches for his country and became somewhat of a national hero. The 22-year-old midfielder recently completed a big money move to Premier League giants Arsenal.

(CM) Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Loftus-Cheek participated in 4 matches for England in the tournament, providing an assist in the process. The 22-year-old has surely impressed his club by his mesmerising dribbling and pinpoint passing and will hope to get an important role at Chelsea or a transfer in the coming season.

(CAM) Aleksandr Golovin 

Golovin has impressed everyone since the opening game of the World Cup where he scored a goal and assisted 2. The 22-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder also created the highest number of chances in the tournament. He has been linked with numerous European giant and is bound to complete a move imminently.

(LM) Denis Cheryshev 

Villarreal‘s Denis Cheryshev was a largely obscure figure ahead in world football of the World Cup. After scoring 4 times in just 303 minutes in the tournament, the 27-year-old winger has attracted plenty of attention from other clubs.

(RM) Ante Rebic

Another obscure player was Frankfurt‘s Ante Rebic who made his statement in the World Cup by performing consistently and industriously. The 24-year-old workhorse has been linked to numerous European giants, one of them being Manchester United.

(CF) Hirving Lozano 

The 22-year-old forward was one of the hottest prospects in world football, coming into the World Cup. Lozano has raised his stock as he scored a goal and assisted another in his 4 games for Mexico. The PSV Eindhoven star has attracted a huge number of clubs who are in a race to get his signature.

Also Read: FIFA World Cup 2018: Team Of The Tournament

Kante and his Rise: We “Kante” get enough of N’Golo!

NGolo Kante

N’Golo Kante’s meteoric rise from playing for Second Division French side Caen to winning two back-to-back Premier League titles and now winning the World Cup. The Frenchman has been exceptional and has deserved every praise that’s come his way. 

Kante got his big break in the 2015/16 Season at Premier League Club Leicester and his performance in Midfield during their surprising Title winning Season caught the eye of a few. He transferred to Chelsea the following Season for 32 Million Pounds in, which was approximately Five-times the price he was bought for at Leicester. The 32 Million Chelsea paid for him was a bargain if you take his current performances into context.

Kante isn’t a flashy Goal scoring midfielder nor is he someone with excellent creative abilities. Kante does the work that makes creating Goals and scoring them easier; He wins the ball back and continuously runs across the pitch making sure Chelsea regain possession and ensuring that the ball moves forward when they have it. 

 Kante played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s 2016/17 campaign, he covered 9,821 miles, made 879 interceptions and 683 tackles. If a player has those stats in Midfield you are assured to concede very few goals and as a team can break on more counter-attacks when you win the ball in Midfield.

The Chelsea Midfielder has been a mainstay in the French National team since the 2016 Euros and is admired by all his teammates. A song about Kante made by the French National team broke the Internet that goes something like this “Ohh N’Golo Kanté, ohh N’Golo Kanté… He is short, he is nice, he’s the one, who stopped Leo Messi, but we all know he’s a cheater (at cards), N’Golo Kanté!” (Translated, original in French)

What makes Kante even more special is the fact that he is humble and despite all the success has kept his feet on the ground. The Frenchman has already achieved so much but with his talent and attitude, the Sky is the limit!

Giroud – The Underrated French Warrior | FIFA World Cup

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud failed to score a goal the 7 matches he played for France. You must have come across that information through Instagram or Twitter, and think this Giroud guy is a real failure right? Wrong. If you think that end product is all that matters, then you are truly mistaken.

Giroud did not score for France in any of their seven games, all of which he has featured in, that we know. Statistically, the only valuable contribution he made was an assist against Argentina, statistically. Since coming off the bench in their first game against Australia, he has started every game for France. Over that time span, he has had just one attempt on target. Just as Aime Jacquet largely stuck with Stephane Guivarc’h, France’s 1998 World Cup winning team’s striker, who also failed to score a goal in the competition. It should also be mentioned that Guivarc’h made hardly as much as an impact as Giroud did in 2018.

Take the fact that Didier Deschamps kept faith in Giroud and played him in every game in the World Cup, a record rivaled by only a few other French players. By that, we can understand that Giroud played a crucial role in Deschamps’ system. A system which won him the World Cup. Unless you believe that Deschamps is an idiot (which is he not), you could understand that he had his reasons for playing the 31-year-old striker in every game of the tournament. So, let us dumb it down for a few nincompoops who remain unaware of Giroud’s contribution to France’s World Cup-winning campaign.

Olivier Giroud is a target-man. According to Wikipedia: ‘The term “target man” is often used to describe a particular type of striker whose main role is to win high balls in the air and create chances for other members of the team (not necessarily scoring many goals themselves). These players are usually tall and physically strong, being adept at heading the ball.’ Remind you of someone in this World Cup? In order to judge the performance of a target man, we must use the parameters mentioned above. 

  • Win high balls in the air – Check 
  • Create Chances for other players – Check
  • Tall & Physically strong – Check
  • Adept at headers – Check

Hence, surprise surprise, Olivier Giroud is a good target man, bet you didn’t see that one coming. To delve deeper into this specific World cup campaign, Giroud did fail to pose as a major goal threat but his physical presence allowed Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to flourish, the duo to cause havoc to defenders during the tournament.

But while Griezmann, MbappePogba, and Co stole the headlines as France went through the rounds, Giroud was always involved in one way or another. He won headers and controlled long balls, put pressure on the centre-backs and let the other attackers run freely. He held the ball and created space for other scorers – Mbappe and Griezmann as both of them ended the campaign with 4 goals each. Not undermining their individual abilities, both of them owe the majority of it to Giroud and his ability to attract attention from the defenders away from them and towards him.

The Chelsea striker truly made an invaluable contribution for France in the tournament and it was comforting to see that he knew it. Giroud addressed his difficulties, criticisms, and the support he receives from fans in an interview after the match.

He said: “All of my careers I have been, how can I say… I have been through certain difficulties and I have always tried to make it. It motivates me to get better and better and go through these difficulties and it is what happens in life when you are really motivated, determined, committed, it is never easy. Football is very hard and people see only the nice part of the job. But we work very hard for this achievement and I am very proud to say I am a World Cup champion.”

The Chelsea striker added: “No, no, no (I don’t feel more respected in France) because I have been criticized a little bit in France as well. For example, I didn’t score in the World Cup. I receive a lot of messages from people who know football well, lots of French supporters. They see the work I do for the team and a lot of people wanted me to score in the final. I said ‘yes I hope so but even if I don’t score and we are world champions it will be the best thing that has happened in my life’ so I don’t know if I have had a chance again. I tried to work for the team and I know what I can bring to the team. It’s the same for my team-mates. It is not one or two players or 11 players, it is 23 and that was the strength of the French team this year.”

The French striker won the World Cup and deserved it, as much as Mbappe, as much as Griezmann and as much as any other player in the French squad, goal or no goal.

Modric – Golden Ball winner | FIFA World Cup

Luka Modric - Golden Ball

Croatia had a dream run to the Final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and Luka Modric led from the front as Croatia dared to dream. The Croats faltered in the Final but as cliched as it sounds, they won our hearts, and Luka Modric has forever immortalized his contribution to his Country’s achievement by winning the Golden Ball.

Modric has scored 2 Goals and assisted one in the tournament but these stats don’t justify the Croat GOAT’s World Cup performance. Luka Modric has made 56 recoveries which is more than any outfield player and his job was to do the “dirty work”, pick the ball up from defence and dribble forward to move the ball into the Final third, so that the likes of Perisic and Mandzukic can go on to put the ball into the back of the net.

Not only did Modric contribute defensively, but was also his team’s chief creator, he finished the tournament with 16 chances created and 15 take-on completed, more than any other teammate. It can certainly be argued that Modric didn’t perform the way Eden Hazard or Antoine Griezmann did but the truth of the matter is he was the architect of Croatia’s World Cup.

Luka Modric is a serial winner and has won 4 Champions League titles since arriving at the Bernabeu. He has been called the best Midfielder in the World on many occasions and he has justified that tag this time around. The Croat joins a legendary list of players after winning the Golden Ball, Lionel Messi (2014), Diego Forlan (2010) and Zinedine Zidane (2006) to name a few.

Modric is 32-years-old and is at the twilight of his career. The Real Madrid midfielder has certainly made an impact in what will most likely be his last World Cup appearance and if it is so, he knows how to bow out in style.