World Cup 2018 could be last chance for generation of LatAm football greats

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Bogota, May 15 (IANS) The eight Latin American squads who qualified for the 2018 World Cup will put some of football’s biggest stars on the field when the tournament gets underway next month in Russia.

And though the young are taking over, there is a number that is magic and common among some of the most outstanding football stars on the continent and who will soon be on their way to Russia: 31, reports Efe.

One month before the tourney begins, 31 will be the age of several players representing Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay at the kick-off.

In the “31 Club” is the individual rated by many as the best footballer of all. Barcelona icon Lionel Messi will turn that age on June 24 during the tourney and his objective in Russia is to lead Argentina to win their third World Cup.

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Uruguay, also a two-time champion, will have on their roster two of the greatest strikers to set foot on Russian football fields, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani and Barça’s Luis Suarez, both 31.

Keylor Navas, goalkeeper for Real Madrid and Costa Rica, at age 31 will defend his country’s goal for the second time in the World Cup, while Colombian forward Carlos Bacca, who also plays in Spain with Villarreal, is the same age.

Mexico has Andres Guardado in their squad. The midfielder for Real Betis was born on September 28, 1986 and in his 31st year will defend the colours of his country for the fourth time in a World Cup.

And with 31 as their magic number, Messi, Suarez, Cavani, Keylor and Guardado only await the 31-day countdown for the ball to start rolling in Russia to begin working at winning the World Cup.

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–IANS

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