As Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international football after a disappointing outing against Chile in the Copa America Centenario final, we have decided to make a list of top 5 players who have retired from international football at a very tender age.
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina, 29)
The Argentine maestro announced his retirement from international football today (June 27), after his side suffered yet another disappointing defeat against Chile at the Copa America Centenario finals. It was Argentina's third successive defeat in a major international tournament. Lionel Messi's frustration gushed out immediately after the Copa debacle as he announced his retirement from international football at the age of just 29.
2. David Bentley (England, 29)
David Bentley came into the football scenario as a promising youngster who had a lot of potential of becoming a great player for his country England. An Arsenal academy graduate who was later signed by Tottenham Hotspur failed to live up to the expectations as he lost his touch and form very early in his career. He was compared to the likes of David Beckham and it was expected that Bentley would fill into his shoes in the future. Unfortunately, fortune never favoured David Bentley and he retired from international football in 2014 at the age of 29.
3. Hidetoshi Nakata (Japan, 29)
The iconic Japanese midfielder who is arguably the greatest player Japan has ever produced retired from international football very early at the age of 29. Nakata became a prominent name in world football as he played stellar roles in his countries golden years. He was a part of Japan's squad at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also guided his side to the finals of FIFA Confederations Cup 2001 where lost to giants France by a goal to nil. The Japanese star left his national duties so as to focus more on club football.
4. Philipp Lahm (Germany, 30)
The former German international and their captain Philipp Lahm retired from international football just after lifting the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Philipp Lahm is regarded as one of the most prolific defenders in world football in last 20 years and was regarded by famous manager Pep Guardiola as the most intelligent footballer of the generation. Lahm was appointed captain of the German national side in 2008 after Michael Ballack left his duties. Since then the defender has finished runner-up twice at the Euros and champion at the FIFA World Cup 2014. Lahm's decision shocked the world as every fab believed the German still had a lot to offer.
5. Paul Scholes (England, 30)
Paul Scholes, the talismanic English and Manchester United midfielder shocked the world in 2004 when he announced that he would retire from international football at the age of 30. His last major tournament was the EURO 2004, immediately after he which he retired from international football. Scholes who had always played in a central role in the midfield was forced to shift to the left in 2004 to accommodate Steven Gerrrard and Frank Lampard centrally. Even though the reason is still a mystery, the midfield maestro claimed that in order to maintain his club career with Manchester United and family related reasons he retired. Paul Scholes was regarded as the greatest player of the generation by none other than the great Zinedine Zidane.