With the FIFA 2022 World Cup fast approaching, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most promising players who seem set to light up the field of dreams in Qatar this winter. Potentially even returning home as champions of the world on the international stage of the beautiful game. For organizational purposes, players have been divided into two separate categories of living legends and rising stars !
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Messi needs little description. The stats simply speak for themselves. Most players could only dream of achieving so much in football, with such an incredible rate of goals and assists, the Argentinian could be holding the ultimate trophy by the end of the tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Logically, no living legends list would make sense without the inclusion of the famed Portuguese powerhouse. Despite being nearer the end of his career at the age of 37, the legendary striker has continually impressed and dazzled the world of football, as shown below:
While some have claimed that CR7’s performance in the premier league has waned slightly compared to performances of the past, the forward still managed to achieve 18 goals and 3 assists in 30 matches. The forward also seemed to shine on an even greater scale for Portugal, with 6 goals and 1 assist in just 9 Games, showing that ‘Siuuuuu’ is STILL a player to keep an eye on.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
The inclusion of this Belgian midfielder may not seem as obvious an inclusion when compared to players such as Ronaldo or Messi, but it is undeniable that the midfielder-machine has been one of the foundational pillars of the strongest team in the Premier League for the last few years, Man City.
De Bruyne ranks as having the top number of assists in the world class team of Man City, with a whooping 0.71 assists per 90’ (90 minutes), whilst also ranking just 3 spaces behind first place ( 4th/317th ) for the top assists in the most difficult, competitive league in the world, which is of course the Premier League. In football, every piece of the team is just as important as one another, so keep alert when this beast of a midfielder is on the pitch.
Kylian Mbappe, France
Kylian Mbappé, who is only 23 years old, is regarded as one of the top players in the world right now. Mbappé went from a hot prospect to a superstar after becoming the first youngster to score twice in a World Cup in France’s victory against Croatia in the 2018 World Cup in Russia (a total of four goals and one assist). He will play a significant role in the attacking line of the French national team in Qatar, especially if he carries on his lethal form into the tournament.
Brazil is one of the top teams at the World Cup, and Neymar is one of the best players there. Neymar, who will be competing in his third World Cup, has scored 15 goals and provided 12 assists in 19 games for PSG this season. Neymar poses a threat even without Messi and Mbappé surrounding him. Alongside stars like Vinicius Junior, Richarlison, and Raphinha, he will play for Brazil. The attack’s main target, however, will be Neymar.
Pablo Martín Páez Gavira “Gavi”, Spain
Having only reached the age of 18 a mere 3 months ago, Gavi seems to have a lot to prove in this World Cup. The under-20 has already recently won two major awards for being the best young footballer in the world, including the Kopa trophy and the Golden boy award.
To truly understand the skill and talent of Gavi, you really have to observe and analyze the impact he has on the legendary midfielder of Barcelona and Spain, rather than simply looking at highlights and stats alone.
Jude Bellingham, England
This 19-year-old English midfielder will give England fans a lot to hope for ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Hope is a trait often needed when following England’s performance in international events since most of us can remember.
Despite having many great players and stats on paper, England seems to have a legendary reputation for disappointment when it comes to major international events, as I saw myself recently when watching them lose to a far older Italian team in the Euro finals. Bellingham has shown great accuracy and precision with his assists for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
Jamal Musiala, Germany
The four-time champions are always favorites to win the World Cup. Germany always has a youthful star who shines when the stakes are highest.
It’s understandable why there is so much anticipation about Jamal Musiala given that he has been directly involved in nine goals in Bayern’s first nine games this season, including five goals and four assists. He’s 19 years old, has the world at his feet, and is enthusiastic about Germany’s prospects in the Middle East.
Matthijs de Ligt, Netherlands
When analyzing and looking at the game of football, it can be easy to focus so heavily on the strikers and midfielders at the front of the pitch, that the importance of defenders are so often overlooked or forgotten about. At the relatively young age of 23, de Ligt has been wowing audiences in Italy the previous three years for Serie A giants Juventus and has continued to impress for current Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
De Ligt’s recent success at Bayern Munich has been so great, that he is ranked as the number #1 defender in the entire league, and when you look at his incredible recent stats you can understand why!
With a record as good as this, it’s no surprise that many people have praised De Ligt as being one of, if not the very best defender in the world right now. Yet the question remains as to whether the Netherlands’ amazing defense will be enough to help them succeed seriously in the difficult World Cup tournament, as the team previously struggled in the 2021 European championship when they were knocked out in the round of 16 against the Czech Republic.
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