United States legend Landon Donovan has suggested he may not partake in his country’s exploits at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after revealing the strains of league football is slowly getting to him.
Donovan, who has 144 international caps to his name, told ESPN recently that both physical and mental elements of the game are forcing him to think of retiring early, with Betfair football markets reacting negatively to the news, given’s Donovan’s influence on the US national team.
“I feel like there is a physical point which you hit when your body can’t take it like it used to, but there is also a mental place where your mind can’t do it anymore.
“But if you do it for as long as I have, you realise you hit a barrier and have to work really hard to keep it going.”
Asked if he would play at Brazil 2014 Donovan replied: “I don’t have the answer to that. There are a lot of moving pieces. If I had to guess I would say it is 50-50.”
Indeed, Donovan has been in the game for almost 13 years now and the 30-year-old’s body is starting to strain. Loan spells at Everton and Bayern Munich have reinvigorated the midfielder and prepared him for the standards of World Cups and CONCACAF Gold Cups in recent years, but these stints appear to have taken their toll on his body.
The three-time World Cup finals participant is no newcomer to the game and is more than aware of what his body is capable of. His LA Galaxy contract is up after the 2013 MLS season and if Donovan is not tempted to sign a new deal after that date he may just hang up his boots for good.
It would be a severe blow to Jürgen Klinsmann’s World Cup preparations and US soccer fans are likely to want their hero to stay on for just two more years at least.