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12 Stars Who Came Out Of International Retirement

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly set to make a shock return to international football, here are 12 high-profile footballers who came out of retirement for their countries, including Benni McCarthy, who quit Bafana Bafana in 2002!

Click through the gallery above to see 12 players who came out of international retirement!

Reports across Europe suggest that AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic could return to represent Sweden ahead of his nation's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Kosovo.

The 39-year-old hung up his international boots five years ago, but could potentially be ready for a stunning comeback. In November last year, Sweden boss Janne Andersson revealed he had held talks with the forward regarding a possible return.

If he does indeed return to the national team fold, Ibrahimovic would join a long list of footballers who have made a U-turn on their international retirement, including current Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who came out of retirement to play for and captain France at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

That tournament was his last participation in international football, with Zidane's infamous headbutt on Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the decider of the competition in Germany being his final, and certainly memorable, involvement.

After Argentina lost the 2016 Copa America final to Chile, Lionel Messi sent shockwaves throughout the football world when he announced that he would no longer be available for international selection.

Messi was believed to be frustrated and upset about having lost three consecutive finals with the Albiceleste, starting with the 2014 FIFA World Cup final, but later returned to the fold for his nation's 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

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Ex-Orlando Pirates striker McCarthy quit international football in 2002 after the FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Reports state that the South African hung up his boots prematurely due to schedule clashes with club and country, but he made his comeback for Bafana in 2004.

You can see some more big names who made U-turns on international retirement in the gallery above!

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