The iconic player of the U.S. men's national team, Landon Donovan, said in an interview with ESPN that he currently is not sure that he will make it to the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, as he considers putting an end to his professional career in the near future.
Donovan's doubts over his future in the game are nothing new. In recent interviews he has stressed that he does not feel he has the commitment he has shown in previous years.
"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," he told ESPN in an exclusive interview. "But if you do it for as long as I have, you realize you hit a barrier and have to work really hard to keep it going."
It is not the first time Donovan has faced doubts about his future, and they don't necessarily have to do with his age. The pressure of being the face of American soccer definitely seems to have also worn him down on occasions, especially after heavy criticism after the 2006 World Cup.
"When we were knocked out I took the brunt of the criticism, and justifiably so," Donovan said. "It honestly made me wonder if I want to stay part of it, but I decided to keep going because I was young and believed I could learn from the experience."
The problems with injuries this year, especially those that have kept him from competing in the World Cup qualifiers, have made it more difficult for Donovan to stay connected to the game and his teammates.
"I like to think of myself as one of the leaders in the U.S. locker room," he said. "But it has been difficult because I have not been in the team a lot and have had to sit at home and watch the team qualify and, in some cases, struggle, which is frustrating."
As for the 2014 World Cup, Donovan was honest in admitting that his participation in the tournament, if the team were to qualify and he were to be included in the roster, is not a certain thing.
"I don't have the answer to that," he responded. "There are a lot of moving pieces. If I had to guess I would say it is 50-50."
With his playing days admittedly counted, Donovan says he would like to be a broadcaster once he is done playing so he can help educate audiences. On that same vein, he has not discarded the option of coaching once his career is over.
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