Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale – numerous stars still fight for the remaining World Cup tickets. For some great names, it will probably be the last chance of the tournament.

The otherwise so intrepid Zlatan Ibrahimovic has panic. Panic in front of what comes after his career. The adrenaline, “that I feel in the field, I will not find that nowhere,” is the 40-year-old safe. The greater the yearning for a ticket for the World Cup in Qatar, it will be the last possibility for the Swedish star. And that’s not alone.

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Cristiano Ronaldo, with 37 years also in advanced World Cupswear age from Thursday (20.45 / Dazn) in the semi-finals of the play-offs is also in the middle of the fight for the last three European places. He knows that the way over coach Stefan Kuntz and Turkey is “no easier”, but “together we will fight to bring Portugal where it belongs”.

Kuntz also emphasized in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Turkish team will be “uncomfortable”. But one should not underestimate, “in which way Ronaldo can concentrate in such a game”.

Unlike Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic is damned to watch the Czech Republic for a yellow-barrier. Of course, he still has tips on the youth. “Enjoy it, as long as I’m still in the field, because you will not see anything comparable anymore,” he said in the usual modest species to his 19-year-old teammates Anthony Elanga on a press conference.

But Ibrahimovic is clear, players like Elanga “are the future”. He is “here to help you to help.” This could be Ibrahimovic on the field but only in a possible final against Poland.

There he would meet at Bayern-Star Robert Lewandowski, with 33 years after all, much younger than the Swede. Poland is already in one of the three finals, due to the crime war in Ukraine, semi-final opponents Russia was excluded.

At Wales, the hopes rest on the 32-year-old Gareth Bale. Despite lack of playing practice at Real Madrid, national coach Robert Page: “The big players come to great games. They have proven them over time.” For the Welsh it is about Austria to keep the dream of the first end-round participation since 1958 further alive.

How it would continue according to a possible final deduction is unclear. The duel of the potential opponents Ukraine and Scotland is first postponed and could only be played in June – if at all.

In the ranks of the European Champion Italy tremble in front of the game against Nordmasedonia also Giorgio Chiellini (37 years) and Leonardo Bonucci (34 years) still around a World Cup ticket.

The next opportunity for participation would be again 2026 – and thus may be too late for some. At the thought of no longer feeling the adrenaline on the court, he felt “panic,” said Ibrahimovic. Currently he was “an old man, but fit”.