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Veterans of the game: Five players who could retire after Euro 2024

The end of the European football season always brings plenty of goodbyes. From Jürgen Klopp bidding farewell as Liverpool manager to Joe Hart being serenaded by Celtic at the end of a wonderful career, there have been some emotional moments so far, with Euro 2024 the last chance we get to see Toni Kroos, with the German ending his career after the tournament.

Euro 2024 will be the last time several players represent their country. While they might not be hanging up their boots at club level, here are five players who could be departing the international game at the end of the competition.

Luka Modrić – Croatia

A Champions League winner for the sixth time with Real Madrid, Luka Modrić is ageing like a fine wine. After penning a new deal that will keep him in the Spanish capital for one more season, the 38-year-old’s attention now turns to Croatia, and while they managed to reach the World Cup semi-finals, they have perhaps been overlooked in the Euro 2024 betting odds.

Modrić will have a tough job on his hands in his international swansong, with the likes of Dejan Lovren and Ivan Rakitić already calling time on their national team careers, and placed in a tough group with Albania, Spain and reigning champions Italy, it could be a quick end to his time with the Vatreni.

Jan Vertonghen – Belgium

Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen looks set to retire from Belgium this summer, having just celebrated his 37th birthday. The Red Devils will be hoping they can secure silverware in a fleeting effort to make the most of their golden generation of talent that included Eden Hazard, who left the game earlier this season himself.

Vertonghen is still an experienced leader at the back and with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku still performing at a high level, the latter finishing Euro 2024 qualification as top scorer, there is a chance Belgium can reach the competition’s business end.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal

This will be a record sixth Euros for Cristiano Ronaldo, but you have to wonder if the clock is ticking for the 39-year-old, who will be past his best by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around.

Ronaldo previously lost his place in Qatar under Fernando Santos, but after Gonçalo Ramos failed to build on the hat-trick he scored in his first start, and Roberto Martinez was appointed as manager, Ronaldo earned back the starting spot.

His 40 goals this season in the Saudi Pro League and experience for Portugal justify his place in the side, although you wonder if they have enough in the tank to get the job done.

Manuel Neuer – Germany

Those looking at the Euro betting offers will see that Germany are one of the favourites to lift the trophy on home soil and with Manuel Neuer in goal for potentially the last time, it’s easy to see why.

A World Cup winner with his country in 2014, the colossal keeper has bounced back from injury to play regularly for Bayern Munich, but has been unable to dislodge Marc-André ter Stegen between the sticks.

Robert Lewandowski – Poland

Approaching 150 caps for Poland, this could be Robert Lewandowski’s final tournament for his country. The Barcelona talisman might not be as prolific as he was at Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund, but the 35-year-old still finished as the third-highest goal scorer in La Liga. Poland face a challenging group alongside Austria, Netherlands and France, with Lewandowski once again being called upon to find the back of the net.

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