These 12 Russia-bound Men Have Played in At least Four World Cups

world cup

These 12 Russia-bound Men Have Played in At least Four World Cups

#1: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is the captain of Portugal’s national team. Fondly called CR7, Ronaldo is riding on his recent success with Real Madrid at the UEFA Champions League. He inspired his national team to winning the UEFA Euro 2016 against host France. Ronaldo’s best performance with Portugal at the World Cup was reaching the semi-finals at the 2006 tournament hosted by Germany.

#2: Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi is the Argentina national team captain and arch rival of Cristiano Ronaldo’s. Messi has been to four FIFA World Cups. He ended the last season of the Spanish La Liga as the highest goal scorer, scoring more goals than his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo. A diminutive, left-footed dribbler, Messi holds the all-time goalscoring record for Argentina. After a narrow defeat to Germany at the finals in 2014, Messi would long to lift the cup as this would place him among football’s greatest.


#3: Pepe Reina (Spain)

Pepe Reina was part of the victorious Spain’s 2010 world cup winning team, who is known for his ball distribution ability both with the use of his hands and legs. Reina also possesses good penalty saving skills. With age knocking at his door, Reina would hope to lift the trophy once again in Russia with his Spanish teammates.


#4: Mark Milligan (Austria)

Mark Milligan is an Austrian professional footballer who plays for Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia. Regarded as a mobile defender with good ball skills and the ability to play a raking pass, he played 8 out of 10 matches for Australia’s qualification matches, thus earning a third place finish and a play-off against Syria. With a football career that has mainly centered in Asia, Mark will be hoping to join the league of players who have graced the World Cup four times.


#5: Sergio Ramos (Spain)

Sergio Ramos is sometimes seen as one of the game’s best defenders ever produced. Known for his aggressive tackles, technical ability and heading ability, Ramos is seen as a goal-threat on set-pieces. Due to his leadership, his athletic and technical prowess, his ability to excel both offensively and defensively, as well as his tactical versatility, which allows him to be deployed as a centre back and as a full back, football experts sometimes compare him to legendary defender Paolo Maldini.

After guiding his club, Real Madrid, to win the 2018 UEFA Champions League in Kiev, for a record three times, Ramos who has been criticized for his reckless tackle on Liverpool’s Mohammed Sallah, leading to the withdrawal of the Egyptian, would be hoping to return to Spain with the World Cup once again.


#6: Valon Behrami (Switzerland)

Valon Behrami was born in 1985 in Titova Mitrovica, Yugoslavia. Behrami is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Udinese. Capped over 60 times at the International level, Behrami has played in three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014) and the Euro (2008), since his debut in 2005. Behrami’s professional career cuts across England, Germany and France.


#7: Javier Mascherano (Argentina)

Javier Mascherano is often regarded as one of Argentina’s most decorated footballers. Born in 1984 in San Lorenzo, Argentina, the defensive midfielder who also plays centre-back is known for his versatility. Nicknamed “El Jefecito” which means the “Little Chief”, Mascherano is a tactically intelligent footballer with an excellent ability to read the game and organise his team through his leadership skills, pass accuracy, tough marking of opponents and hard-tackling style of play.

Mascherano began his football career in River Plate in 1999 as a youth footballer, before finally earning his first senior cap in 2003. Since then Mascherano has never  looked back, plying his trade in West Ham, Liverpool, and Barcelona. Currently plying his trade in China with Hebei China Fortune, Mascherano will be participating in his fourth consecutive World Cup competition.


#8: Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña (Mexico)

Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magaña commonly called Memo, is a Mexican footballer who plays for Belgian club Standard Liege as a goalkeeper. Born in 1985, Ochoa’s professional career spans France, Spain and Belgium. Known for his ‘man of the match’ performance at the 2014 World Cup match against Brazil, Ochoa will be seeking to replicate such performance again at Russia 2018, having participated in the previous three editions of the global football fiesta.

#9: Tim Cahill (Australia) 

Tim Cahill is an Australian professional footballer who plays for English Championship side Millwall. Cahill plays as an attacking midfielder, but has also played as a forward on several occasions. Known as a box-to-box midfielder, Cahill is recognised for his aggressive and powerful approach and his ability to head the ball in the penalty area, earning him 50 goals, as Australia’s highest goalscorer of all time.

Cahill’s goal against the Netherlands in their 3-2 defeat at the 2014 World Cup, is sometimes considered by football experts as one of the best goals ever scored in a World Cup. The Australian would be looking at extending his record for most goals scored by an Australian at the World Cup finals, having participated in the previous three editions.


#10:  Andrés Iniesta Luján

Andrés Iniesta Luján is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Barcelona, the Spain national team and has a contract signed with Japanese Club Vissel Kobe to commence 1 July 2018, having spent most of his career at Barcelona, where he served as the captain for three seasons. Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 34 trophies make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.

Having played for the Spanish Under-16, 19 and 21’s, Iniesta made his international debut in 2006, later helping the team to win the Euro 2008 tournament, thus earning selection into the Team of the Tournament. He was also a key member of the victorious Spanish team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, scoring the winning goal in the finals against the Netherlands, for which he was named Man of the Match.  The Midfield maestro will be looking at replicating his 2010 World Cup form, hoping to lift the trophy once again, while making his fourth appearance at the football fiesta.


#11:  José Andrés Guardado Hernández (Mexico)

José Andrés Guardado Hernández is a Mexican professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Betis. Popularly called Principito which means “The Little Prince”, Guardado has represented his country at last three World Cups. He has two Copa América medals as well as many Confederation Cup medals.

He began his World Cup experience at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, featuring in the round-of-16 loss to Argentina. Guardado is known for his good passing and dribbling skills, efficient free kicks and holding up of the ball. He also possesses a powerful and accurate shot from distance, while being able to assist his team defensively due to his work-rate and stamina.

With a successful professional career that spans Spain and the Netherlands, Guardado would be looking at providing more steel to his country’s hope at lifting the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


#12:  Rafael Marquez (Mexico)

Rafael Marquez is the only one in the list that will be playing in his fifth World Cup, beginning from 2002. He is widely regarded as the best defender in Mexico’s history and one of Mexico’s best players of all time. Márquez is a professional football player that can play as a central defender, sweeper or as defensive midfielder. Born in 1979, Marquez began his professional career with Atlas in 1996 before moving to Monaco in France in 1999 and later Barcelona in 2003, becoming the first ever Mexican to represent the club.


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