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Five football greats likely to retire from international football after Euro 2024

Euro 2024 could be the final tournament for some football greats of the modern era, a last dance on the international scene.

Ahead of this summer’s tournament, we’ve looked at five players who are likely to retire from international football after Euro 2024.

Olivier Giroud (France)

Olivier Giroud has confirmed that Euro 2024 will be his final tournament for France as the nation’s record scorer prepares to depart the international game.

“This will be my last competition with Les Bleus. I’m going to miss it a lot,” Giroud told L’Equipe.

“We need to make way for the youngsters. You also have to be careful not to have one season too many. You have to find the right balance.”

An integral part of France’s recent success, Giroud won the World Cup with France in 2018 and scored four times as Les Bleus reached the final in Qatar 18 months ago. He will hope to end his international career with an elusive European Championship after a runners-up finish on home soil eight years ago.

Giroud has scored a record 57 goals in 131 appearances for France, eclipsing Thierry Henry’s record as his country’s leading scorer. Following the tournament, Giroud will move to MLS after agreeing a deal to sign for Los Angeles FC from AC Milan.

Toni Kroos (Germany)

Euro 2024 will be the final time football fans get to watch Toni Kroos take to the pitch. Madridistas are in mourning after Kroos confirmed he will retire from football entirely at the end of the campaign, which will include a major tournament with Germany on home soil after reversing his international retirement to take part at Euro 2024.

The 34-year-old will depart at the top of his game after an excellent season for Real Madrid, in which his creative control has helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side to La Liga title success.

The metronomic midfielder formed part of Germany’s World Cup-winning team in 2014 and can complete the set this summer. There will be no better place to do so than at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on July 15.

Pepe (Portugal)

It would be foolish to write off Pepe, given his exploits as a 40-something at the highest level, but Euro 2024 appears likely to be the last tournament for the defender.

Still going strong in the colours of FC Porto, this summer’s tournament will be Pepe’s fifth European Championship with Portugal and he has been named in the Team of the Tournament a joint-record three times (2008, 2012 and 2016).

Integral to Portugal’s success in that latter edition, Pepe will guide an exciting collection of Portuguese centre-backs that includes Ruben Dias, Goncalo Inacio and Antonio Silva. Should he appear, the 41-year-old will surpass Hungary’s Gabor Kiraly as the oldest player to have played in a European Championship.

Luka Modric (Croatia)

Luka Modric has continually hinted at international retirement admitting he was taking his career with Croatia ‘step by step’ after the World Cup in Qatar 18 months ago.

The 38-year-old will captain Croatia into the European Championship in what looks likely to be his final tournament in iconic checkered colours. He won the Ballon d’Or after helping Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018 and was influential once again as Zlatko Dalić’s side placed third in Qatar.

Modric has seen his minutes reduced at Real Madrid this season but remains the main man for the national team. For one last tournament, at least.

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Robert Lewandowski will lead Poland’s challenge at the finals but is expected to bid adieu to international football post-tournament.

The 35-year-old has 82 goals in 148 caps for Poland, ranking him ninth overall in international football history, but has suggested he will ‘soon’ leave the game.

“My retirement? It’s close. It is very possible that I will finish my career in Barcelona, where I and my family feel very comfortable,” he told Mundo Deportivo last year.

Read – Euro 2000 – Zidane’s zenith as France reign supreme

See more – Euro 2004 – Charisteas completes Greek miracle in Lisbon

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