His role can’t be underappreciated in Italy’s winning campaign in FIFA World Cup 2006. He is 38 and plans to play the next World Cup in 2018 in Russia and he may as well realise his plans if he remains fit. But it will be a long shot for him to stay till the Euro 2020, so this might be the last European Championship for this veteran.
He first surfaced as a child prodigy who had everyone jumping at their seats at the prospects of seeing him represent Spain one day. One of the wizards who architected Spain’s World Cup victory in 2010 through their dazzling spells of eye-catching football, Iniesta hinted that this might have been his last Euro Cup after Spain succumbed to Italy in the last-16. Just last Euro Cup, he has had his hands on the player of the tournament award and it is almost gut wrenching to perceive the next Euro Cup without him.
Few can claim to have amassed the love as Casillas did from the masses. The teenager who toured for Euro 2000 as back up to Santiago Canizares toured France for Euro 2016 in a supporting role to David De Gea. Spain’s early exit from the tournament means Casillas’ last Euro campaign came to an end without having to spend a single minute on field. An illustrious career which saw Casillas captaining one of the most successful Spanish team ever didn’t deserve to end like this but during his fairly long career Casillas had earned a fair number of critics as well and with Casillas himself dropping hints regarding his retirement we don’t see him making till the Euro 2020.
The Arsenal star remained an integral part of the Czech Republic’s national team during the major portion of the last decade. Whenever his stats will be discussed, his injuries which marred this fine player’s career will always be discussed. Even in the recently concluded Euro Cup which effectively was his last tournament he showcased some solid performances especially in the match against Croatia which the Czechs drew 2-2. Rosicky picked up a thigh injury during the encounter and was ruled out of the rest of Czech Republic’s campaign, which was a very short lived one.
The only appearances that he has made in Euro ’16 have been in supporting role, coming off the bench. But even that couldn’t desist him from scoring goals. The Manchester United player has had a bad past year or so as his injury precluded him from remaining in action after a wonderful World Cup 2014.
He is 31 and one may think that he may be able to eke out another big tournament but his inability to extricate himself from the injuries means that this might be his last big tournament with Germany. Only Klose (37) has appeared more times for Germany in major tournaments than Schweinsteiger (36).
At 35, Patrice Evra is lucky, and fit, enough to be in France’s manager’s good books as he is the first choice for the left back position in Euro ’16. Evra who has captained France and Manchester United and who had earned praise from the likes of Alex Ferguson, would find it very difficult to linger on till the next Euro. He started as an attacking player in the early stages of his career but later transcended beautifully into his present role.
He finished his last season with Paris Saint-Germain as his personal best as a professional as he scored 38 goals in 31 appearances making it 1.23 goals per appearance. Before the dismal end to Sweden’s campaign this Euro Cup, Zlatan had already announced that it would be the last time he would dawn Swedish colors so in his case we are sure that we won’t see this social media darling in Euro 2020. He scored 62 goals for Swedish National Team and despite the fact he couldn’t send a single ball towards the nets he feels proud for having represented Sweden and for having made all the fantastic memories with the team.
He is 38 and he is still going strong. For someone of his age we would expect him to have played more games than mere 85 but he can’t be blamed for that as he had to spend three prime years of his life away from the Portuguese team on pretext of an argument with the manager, Paulo Bento. Carvalho indeed said he is not as strong as English center backs generally are but his speed and tackling skills were what made him stand out from his competitors. Carvalho gave his all in ensuring that Portugal clinch the trophy for what would be his last European Championship campaign.