5 Players Who ‘Only’ Turn Up at International Tournaments After Xherdan Shaqiri’s Record

5 Players Who ‘Only’ Turn Up at International Tournaments After Xherdan Shaqiri’s Record

Elijah Odetokun
June 21, 2024 at 7:04 AM
In this article:
Xherdan Shaqiri logo
X. Shaqiri
Chicago Fire logoMSwitzerland logo
Guillermo Ochoa logo
Salernitana logoGMexico logo
Breel Embolo logo
B. Embolo
Monaco logoFSwitzerland logo
Eduardo Vargas logo
E. Vargas
Atletico Mineiro logoFChile logo
Harry Maguire logo
Manchester United logoDEngland logo
Switzerland logo
Mexico logo
Chile logo
England logo
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup
UEFA European Championship logo
CONMEBOL Copa America logo
CONMEBOL Copa America
CONCACAF Gold Cup logo
  • Xherdan Shaqiri scored a belter to equalise for Switzerland in their 1-1 Euro 2024 group stage draw against Scotland
  • The Swiss attacker, with his goal, became the first European player to score in the last six international tournaments
  • He is one of the footballers who turn up at international tournaments and appear as they retire afterwards

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Major international competitions are breakout tournaments for some young footballers, and even for some aged ones, their performances have earned them big club moves.

However, some footballers have found a way to perform well at international tournaments, but it appears that they go back into hiding when they return to club football.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland, Scotland, Euro 2024, Cologne Stadium, Cologne, Germany.
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates after scoring for Switzerland in their Euro 2024 1-1 draw against Scotland at Cologne Stadium on June 19, 2024. Photo by Craig Williamson.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief looks at five players who ‘only’ turn up at international tournaments.

Players who perform at major tournaments

1. Xherdan Shaqiri

The Swiss attacker only plays football during international tournaments. According to BR Football, he is the first player to score in every Euro and World Cup since 2014. He has had 10 goals in Switzerland's last six international competitions and is still counting.

2. Guillermo Ochoa

The Mexican safe hands is a delight to watch at the FIFA World Cup. He has featured at every World Cup since 2006 even though he became the first choice in 2014. He has spent most of his club career at Club America, with few stints in Europe. According to Bein Sports, he's the first goalkeeper to concede 1,000 goals. He has won five CONCACAF Gold Cups.

3. Harry Maguire

The big defender came to the limelight at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He has played at three major tournaments for the Three Lions and performed well in all. His 2018 World Cup performance earned him a move to Manchester United. No matter how poor his club form is, he balls for England.

4. Breel Embolo

Embolo was born in Cameroon but represents Switzerland internationally. He announced himself to the world during the qualifying series or at major tournaments and goes back into hiding afterwards. He scored the only goal against Cameroon at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, eliminating his birth country.

5. Eduardo Vargas

Vargas has at least a goal in each of the four international tournaments he has played for Chile, including three Copa Americas and a World Cup. He has scored more goals, 42, for the national team than for any other club he has played for. He won two Copas in 2015 and 2016, defeating Lionel Messi’s Argentina in both finals.

Players who could play their last Euro in 2024

Sports Brief reported on players who could play at Euros for the last time in 2024 as they could have announced their retirement from the national team or professional football before the next edition.

Portugal national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo headlines this list. He will be 43 at Euro 2028, and rumours claim his final target is the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.