The 2018 World Cup hosted by Russia has a number of best players looking forward to helping their countries make deep runs. With the domestic seasons over, everyone’s attention is on Russia beginning June 14, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is out from this.
Here are 10 players to watch throughout the 2018 World Cup:
Mohamed Salah, Egypt
Possibly the favourite to win Ballon d’Or after leading the Premier League in goals and ripping up the Champions League while leading Liverpool to the final, Salah should become a household name this summer. Fast with the ball and tricky with his feet, Salah can score from any angle inside or outside the box.
Neymar da Silva Santo Jr, Brazil
Though still working his way back from a foot injury that cost him most of his inaugural PSG season, Neymar looks poised to star in the World Cup. The phenom scores for Brazil at an alarming rate and the nation’s open style of attack should lend itself to more Neymar goals this year.
Timo Werner, Germany
The 22-year-old has earned just 12 caps for Germany but suddenly finds himself as the nation’s much-needed leading man up front. Werner has scored 34 goals in 65 matches for current club team RB Leipzig, and he has garnered interest from Liverpool.
Eden Hazard, Belgium
Faster with the ball at his feet than without it, Hazard glides through defenders as if they aren’t even there. Patient, with an eye for the dramatic, Hazard sometimes passes too much. His signature move is cutting in from the left wing and firing a strike toward the right-top corner of the net.
Sadio Mane, Senegal
Out of all the African nations in the 2018 World Cup, Senegal has the most firepower. Mane helped lead Liverpool to the Champions League Final, scoring goals as part of a three-headed attack monster. For Senegal, he is the leading man, using his speed and energy to score and create for others.
Harry Kane, England
His proclivity for goals has not translated to an England team, but the tall poacher will be counted on to change that this summer.
James Rodriguez, Colombia
Four years ago, Rodriguez burst onto the scene with spirited performances while leading Colombia to the quarterfinals in Brazil. The future looked bright for Rodriguez, but his career stalled at Real Madrid, leading to a move to Bayern Munich.
Antoine Griezmann, France
After leading club team Atletico Madrid to the Europa League title this season, Griezmann proclaimed that he’s among the three best players in the world.
Christian Eriksen, Denmark
Eriksen almost single-handedly led Denmark to a European World Cup playoff victory, securing its place here. Crafty with the ball at his feet, Eriksen spends more time creating than scoring at Tottenham.
Robert Lewandowski, Poland
Lewandowski tied for the most goals scored out of any region during qualifying with 16. Tall and strong, he poses a formidable target for Polish midfielders looking for an outlet.