18 Survivors of the 2006 World Cup Who Are Going to Russia '18 This Summer

12 years have passed since the 2006 World Cup took place in Germany. That is a very long time ago as far as football is concerned.


But 18 of the 736 players going to the World Cup in Russia summer were also there in 2006. It is a testament to their longevity that they have remained at the top level for so long.


Here's a close look at who was there in 2006 that will also be there in 2018...

18. Masoud Shojaei (Iran)

Now Iran captain, midfielder Masoud Shojaei was one of the most experienced members of the 2006 squad at the age of just 22. Since then, he has played much of his club football in Spain and Greece and has over 70 international caps to his name.

17. Vladimir Stojkovic (Serbia)

Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic went to his first World Cup when the country was still paired with neighbouring Montenegro. He was the only uncapped player named in the Serbia & Montenegro squad and it wasn't until after the split later that year that he made his debut.

16. Blerim Dzemaili (Switzerland)

After playing his way into the Switzerland squad at the age of 20, midfielder Blerim Dzemaili later went on to sign for Premier League side Bolton Wanderers in 2007. He played only one game for the club and has spent all but two seasons since then at various teams in Italy.

15. Jesus Corona (Mexico)

Jesus Corona served as a back up for Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez at the 2006 tournament and will continue that role for Guillermo Ochoa in 2018. Corona has been a senior international since 2005 and despite being second choice at World Cups still has over 50 caps.

14. Mark Milligan (Australia)

Only Tim Cahill and Mile Jedinak have more international experience in the Australia squad heading to Russia than veteran defender Mark Milligan. Back in 2006, it was the opposite story. He had only one cap to his name prior to the tournament and didn't get off the bench.

13. Lukasz Fabianski (Poland)

A year before his move to Arsenal from Legia Warsaw brought him to greater attention, little known Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski went to the 2006 World Cup as back up to Artur Boruc - then with Celtic - and Tomasz Kuszczak, shortly to sign with Manchester United.

12. Johan Djourou (Switzerland)

Despite having played just 15 senior games for Arsenal by that stage in his career, a 19-year-old Johan Djourou was part of the Switzerland squad in 2006. He appeared in three out of four Swiss games in total, coming off the bench against France, South Korea and Ukraine.

11. Valon Behrami (Switzerland)

Valon Behrami has been a key part of the Switzerland squad for years and will be heading to his sixth major international tournament in Russia. The World Cup back in 2006 was his first after making his Swiss debut in 2005. The midfielder even scored a key goal in qualifying.

10. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

Like the aforementioned Corona, Guillermo Ochoa was a back up to Mexico number one Oswaldo Sanchez in 2006. After also making the 2010 squad, he eventually played his first World Cup as a starter in 2014 and became a hero in the process.

9. Javier Mascherano (Argentina)

It was shortly after the 2006 World Cup that Javier Mascherano would be thrown into the spotlight after his bizarre transfer to West Ham alongside Carlos Tevez. By 2006, he had already been a senior international for three years and played every minute in Germany.

8. Andres Guardado (Mexico)

Andres Guardado has inherited the Mexican captaincy from Rafael Marquez and goes into this year's World Cup as one of the most capped international players at the tournament. Back in 2006, the winger was the youngest player and the only teenager in the Mexico squad.

7. Tim Cahill (Australia)

Set to compete at his fourth World Cup this summer at the age of 38, Tim Cahill was part of the Australian team that reached the last 16 in 2006. This year, he could become only the fourth player in history after Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose to score in four World Cups.

6. Sergio Ramos (Spain)

Despite being a centre-back for Real Madrid, Sergio Ramos was Spain's starting right-back at the 2006 World Cup. It was a position he held in the national team through the victorious Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup campaigns, only shifting into the middle after Carles Puyol retired.

5. Luka Modric (Croatia)

Although he would start to become an important player for Croatia during the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign, Luka Modric got his first taste of a major international tournament at the 2006 World Cup. He appeared twice off the bench in the group stage.

4. Andres Iniesta (Spain)

It is hard to believe now, but Andres Iniesta was one of Spain's least experienced players when he was selected in 2006. He still wasn't a regular starter for Barcelona and his only appearance at that first World Cup came in the group stage dead rubber against Saudi Arabia.

3. Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi was forced to miss the 2006 Champions League final for Barcelona due to injury, but he was able to play for Argentina at his first World Cup a few weeks later. Still just 18 years of age when it began, his only goal came in the 6-0 group stage rout of Serbia & Montenegro.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo had played a key role as Portugal reached the final of Euro 2004 on home soil and was an even more important part of the team by the time of World Cup two years later. He famously scored the winning penalty in the quarter final shootout against England.

1. Rafael Marquez (Mexico)

Remarkably, 2006 wasn't Rafael Marquez's first World Cup. It wasn't even his first as Mexico captain as he had led El Tri as skipper in 2002 when he was still only 23 years old. Now 39, Russia will be his fifth World Cup and he will be hoping to finally make it beyond the last 16.