The honour of captaining your country is a great one for any player. No longer are you judged for your skillset but entire nations expect you to deliver at the world’s biggest tournaments. It’s a role that is fitting for only the best and bravest players out there. It’s not just your actions on the pitch that are monitored either. Donning the armband means every move you make off the pitch is scrutinized too. So who are the best international captains in world football today?
6 of the best international captains
Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Germany rarely disappoint when it has come to the big occasions and no one encapsulates that better than Manuel Neuer. For well over a decade, Neuer has proven himself to be one of the best keepers in the world with excellent form for both club and country. With the Bayern Munich keeper regarded as innovating the “sweeper keeper” phenomenon in the past few years, he has proven himself to be an inspiration for young and current players alike. Having been part of the 2014 World Cup squad, Neuer’s gravitas and sway makes him an ideal leader for the German national squad.
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Some players are regarded for what they do on the pitch and others are heralded for what they do off it. Robert Lewandowski is a player that can do both of these with ease. When the Pole isn’t slamming in 50 goal seasons for Bayern Munich, the striker has proven to be a kind soul off the pitch too with many different philanthropic efforts. His efforts to improve life for impoverished children at home and abroad has seen Lewandowski been named as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. A top man both off and on the pitch, Lewandowski is by far one of the leading role models and international captains in world football.
Thiago Silva (Brazil)
If you ever needed an anchor to watch over your team, there is no-one better than Thiago Silva. The experienced centre-back is one of the most composed individuals on the pitch and is rarely puts a foot wrong for Chelsea or Brazil. Having played in Italy, France and England, the veteran defender is the perfect choice to help dampen some of the livelier characters in The Selecao’s dressing room. It’s a trait that helped Brazil overcome the disappointment of the 2014 World Cup and triumph at the 2019 Copa America.
Luka Modric (Croatia)
Some international captains need to be the players that spark their team into life whenever they play – Luka Modric is the perfect encapsulation of that. Whether it be his mazy runs, sublime passes or buzzing energy, you will never find Modric giving less than 100%. It’s this form that helped Croatia reach their first World Cup Final in 2018 and show why Modric is a unique presence on the field. It’s this energy and drive that Croatia will be counting on in Euro 2020.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
There are very few things that Cristiano Ronaldo has failed to accomplish but nothing could realistically be greater than his feats with Portugal. For the best part of two decades, Ronaldo has carried his country on his back guiding them to the latter stages of many big tournaments contributing goals and assists on every occasion.
Ronaldo’s crowning glory of winning Euro 2016 ensures that he has an international honour to his name – a feat many other greats failed to achieve. Having broken almost every record he has sought after, Ronaldo’s presence as one of the games foremost international captains will always give hopes to both fans and players watching him play.
Andy Robertson (Scotland)
For some sides, having a top player in your side can lift your entire game up a notch. For Scotland, Andy Robertson is the man to provide that inspiration. Having won almost everything possible domestically with Liverpool, Robertson is often a lynchpin of Scotland’s game when charging down either flank.
Combining with players who regularly play at lower levels of competition, having Robertson on the pitch serves as the benchmark for his teammates to rise up to. Having helped Scotland to their first major tournament in almost 25 years, Robertson will aim to inspire his teammates and help them cause a stir whenever they take to the pitch.
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