Klose is second on the list of the World Cup leading goal scorers and is Germany’s second most capped player. He is among the highest performers at international level, but with Germany finishing as runners-up in the 2002 World Cup, third in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, and runners-up (again) at the 2008 European Championship, Klose is yet to win a major international trophy. Despite failing to win, Klose’s international and club form leave him among the greats. The definition of “Big Match Temperament”, he always rises to the occasion, his presence in the German attack will certainly be missed.
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (England)
Liverpool captain Gerrard has achieved a lot at the club, winning the Uefa Champions League, two FA Cups, three League Cups, two FA Community Shield titles, one Uefa Cup, and two European Super Cups. Gerrard has not achieved this success with England.
In 2005 he earned the title of Uefa Club Footballer of the Year and was named
PFA Player of the Year in 2006.
Frank Lampard, who has just announced his decision to leave Chelsea, will also be missed by England fans in future World Cups.
Chelsea’s all-time leading goal scorer has won three Premier Leagues, four FA Cups, two League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League and one Europa League with the London Club.
Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
One of the greatest playmakers in footbal, Andrea Pirlo has been described as “the architect” of Italian football.
Pirlo has won the Serie A twice with AC Milan and three times with Juventus,
the Supercoppa Italiana four times (twice with AC Milan and twice with Juventus), the Uefa Champions League twice, Coppa Italia, Uefa Super Cup and Fifa Club World Cup with AC Milan. Internationally, Pirlo has won a bronze medal at the Olympic games, as well as the 2006 World Cup.
He was also named the Serie A Player of the Year for 2012 and 2013.
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
Drogba’s physicallity combined with his clinical finish cause nightmares for every defence.
During his time at Chelsea, Drogba achieved numerous successes: three Barclay’s Premier League titles, one Uefa Champions League trophy, four FA Cups, two Football League Cups, and one FA Community Shield title. Drogba also won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2007 and 2010 and was the first African player to score 100 Premier League goals.
At international level, Drogba has captained the Ivory Coast since 2002, and led the country to their first ever World Cup tournament in 2006. He is the country’s leading scorer with 62 goals. Drogba was also named African Footballer of the Year in 2006 and 2009.
Iker Casillas (Spain)
Iker Casillas has achieved at the highest levels with both Spain and Real Madrid.
As one of the most reknowned goalkeepers of all time, he has cemented
his place in history as one of the greatest shot-stoppers of the game. Having captained
both Real Madrid and Spain, Casillas has proven to be an extraordinary leader, guiding Spain to two European Championships and a World Cup. A product of Real Madrid’s youth academy, Casillas’s unwavering loyalty to the club is reflected by his immense success: five La Liga titles, three Uefa Champions League titles, two Copa del Rey titles, four Supercopa de España titles, one Uefa Super Cup win, and one Intercontinental Cup title.
Casillas has received numerous awards for his individual performance. In 2000 he was awarded the La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year award and he has been named La Liga’s Best Goalkeeper twice. Casillas was also named IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper for five consecutive years from 2008-2012 and won Fifa World Cup Golden Glove 2010.
Rafael Marquez (Mexico)
Marquez is likely to become the first player ever to captain his country at four consecutive World Cups. He has over 100 international caps for Mexico, becoming the team’s captain at the young age of 23.
Marquez has spent most of his domestic career playing in Europe, spending four years at AS Monaco before moving to Barcelona. During his time at the Spanish club, Marquez won 12 trophies, including four La Ligas, one Copa del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, two Champions Leagues, one Uefa Super Cup and one Fifa Club World Cup.
He has one a Fifa Confederations Cup and two CONCACAF Gold Cups with Mexico and will be looking two lead his team into the knockout stages of the Brazil World Cup.