The World Cup in Russia is finally underway and already people are discussing which players are going to star at the biggest tournament in football.
The best players in world football are all in Russia looking to play their part in their nation’s success, but with so many superstars involved, it can be a hard task deciding on which players are expected to excel. So, take a look below at some of our picks on who to look out for.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, is one of the best footballers of all time and while his inclusion on this list may be expected, he certainly deserves his place on it. The Real Madrid attacker has his 81 goals in 150 games for Portugal, the defending European Champions, and this could possibly be his last World Cup. Ronaldo has the knack of coming up good when his country needs him most, which you’d expect to see in Russia.
Messi, very much like Ronaldo, is by far and away his country’s most important player, and one of the best to ever grace the game. Argentina is a team who do well but are prone to a shock result here and there, so they will be looking to Messi when the going gets tough to turn on the style and the 30-year-old is more than capable with 64 goals from 124 caps. If he plays well Argentina could go far.
There were concerns that Neymar could actually miss the World Cup in Russia due to injury, but the 26-year-old has made it and is heavily fancied to star. Many are tipping Brazil as the tournament winners and if Neymar plays well, they certainly have a great chance. Neymar has a stunning goalscoring record for Brazil with 55 goals in 85 games and his link up with Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus will be crucial.
Many people would expect the likes of Paul Pogba or Antoine Griezmann to appear in this list before N’Golo Kante, but the midfield destroyer will be integral in any success that Les Bleus have. Kante, 27, is playing in a France side that has plenty of attacking purpose and naturally, that needs balancing out. Kante is arguably the best player in his role on the planet, breaking up attacks and allowing the attack-minded players to then go on and flourish.
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne, 26, enjoyed a great season with Manchester City and will be looking to go on and star in Russia for Belgium. There are still question marks surrounding Belgium’s credentials as a major force, with them often being seen as a group of individuals rather than a team. If anyone can help them on their way to success, it’s De Bruyne, and he will be tasked with supplying the ammo for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. 14 goals and 26 assists in 62 games show he’s more than capable of delivering.