A replica of the FIFA Soccer World Cup Trophy is pictured at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich January 23, 2014 - REUTERS
CAIRO – 11 November 2017: Retirement is unfortunately something every player must face, no matter how much he loves the game. Many footballers go on to become coaches or try some other pursuit they did not have time for while they were following their international career with football. But then there are those who retire, but come back in style.
With the approach of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, many players are looking to come back to their national teams and end their career by participating in such a big event.
First of all, let’s remember one of the most important players who came back from retirement and helped his national team in the World Cup – Zinedine Zidane.
France's Zinedine Zidane (L) celebrates with teammate Franck Ribery after scoring his team's third goal against Spain during their second-round World Cup 2006 soccer match in Hanover June 27, 2006 - Reuters
Zinedine Zidane played a key role in the successful reign of France in both the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Zidane won the 1998 World Cup, scoring twice in the final. In the UEFA Euro 2000, he was named “Player of the Tournament”. He was also named “FIFA World Player of the Year” three times, in 1998, 2000 and 2003.
After France’s elimination from Euro 2004, Zidane announced his retirement from international football. With France in a state of almost missing out on qualifying to the 2006 World Cup, manager Raymond Domenech persuaded Zidane to come out of retirement and reinstated him as captain.
It was a dream return for the current Real Madrid manager, as France made it to the finals of the 2006 World Cup, and he was awarded the Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament.
Swedish striker Henrik Larsson was well known for his goal-scoring prowess and on-field intelligence. Larsson represented Sweden in three World Cups and three European Championships. During this course, he pulled out of international retirement not once, but twice.
Henrik Larsson celebrates his equalizer against England in the 2006 World Cup - REUTERS
After guiding Sweden to the knockout stages of the 2002 World Cup, the powerful striker chose to retire from international football. However, the chance of representing Sweden at Euro 2004 lured him, and he came out of retirement to represent his country. There, he scored three goals in the group stages, ensuring Sweden’s qualification to the knockout stages. They were eventually eliminated by Holland on penalties in the quarter-finals.
He was also part of the 2006 World Cup, where he scored in the dying minutes in a group stage draw against England and helped Sweden qualify for the knockout stage. Following his stint in the World Cup, he retired from international football for the second time.
He made another return at Euro 2008, but this time he was not as successful, starting all three group matches as Sweden failed to qualify for the knockout stages.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, retired Swedish attacker, is one of the football legends who would come back from retirement to join his Swedish national team in case they reached the World Cup finals.
Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring the opening goal against Moldova during their Euro 2016 group G match - Reuters
Sweden defeated Italy 1-0 in the first leg of their play-off clash to decide the qualifier to the World Cup.Ibrahimovic had an amazing career with his national team, scoring 62 goals in 116 appearances for his country.
Manchester United`s striker retired his career with Sweden after Euro 2016 in France, but he insisted he will stand by his decision.However, he was not able to join Sweden in their important tie against Italy, as he still suffers an injury from his last match on May 2017 with Manchester United.