World Cup: Last-chance Saloon

World Cup: Last-chance Saloon
Ivory Coast's forward Didier Drogba kicks the ball during a training session at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on June 3, 2014, on the eve of their World Cup preparation match against El Salvador.

They have gone into previous World Cups hopeful of achieving great things, but ended up returning with little to show.

Time, though, is running out. In the twilight of their careers, they now have one final chance to set things right.

STEVEN GERRARD

Country: England

Age: 34

He was one of the brightest stars in a golden generation tipped to mark a glorious chapter in England's football history. The wait, however, continues.

Gerrard and Co never came close to winning any major competition with the Three Lions.

Now, he finds himself making a last-ditch attempt with a young side few expect to make waves. But he doesn't have a choice, does he?

Although reinvented by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers as a deep midfielder, a move which should prolong his career slightly, the skipper looks likely to retire from international football after this tournament.

MIROSLAV KLOSE

Country: Germany

Age: 35

They say Klose was made for Germany. Few players have shown such terrific international form with such consistency.

In fact, the Poland-born striker has always delivered on the big stage.

He scored five headers in the 2002 World Cup as Germany reached the final.

He won the Golden Boot in the 2006 edition, with another five goals, although his side crashed out in the semi-finals on home soil.

Four years ago, he netted four, as Germany's journey yet again ended in the last four.

But the trophy remains elusive.

For Klose, the feeling of missing out must be painful, considering they went into the last two World Cups as one of the hot favourites.

It sounds almost silly to expect him to fare even better than before.

But that's what he's aiming to do, whatever it takes, as long as he can win the coveted prize for once.

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