Andrea Pirlo, Xavi and 35 Stars Who Played Their Last World Cup in Brazil 2014

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Andrea Pirlo, Xavi and 35 Stars Who Played Their Last World Cup in Brazil 2014
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The culmination of the 2014 FIFA World Cup has brought us memories, moments of magic and—for Germany fans at least—great cause for celebration, but it also leaves fans and onlookers alike with something of a sense of loss.

Firstly, the knowledge that we won't experience the likes again—the atmosphere, the gatherings of thousands of supporters from all nations, the relentless game after game non-stop feast of action—for another four years.

But also because the natural course of time dictates that for some, for too many in fact, this was their last chance to perform on the biggest stage. For Italy's Andrea Pirlo, for Spain's Xavi Hernandez and for plenty more besides, Brazil 2014 was to be their last World Cup.

Here's our rundown of 35 of the biggest names in international football who won't be seen, and could well be missed, once Russia 2018 rolls around.

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