World Cup 2018:
FIFA World Cup 2018: 13 best players to watch: Ronaldo Messi Neymar and more
The world’s best soccer players will descend on Russia for the 2018 World Cup beginning on June 14.
That means some of the planet’s most recognizable names — like Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo — will be joined by superstars from six continents hoping to lift the famous trophy.
[ Also Read – FIFA World Cup 2018: Schedule and Groups ]
From Costa Rica to South Korea, many teams feature at least one player of transcendent quality — which means every moment of the tournament is must-see TV.
While it’s impossible to list all the great players at the World Cup this year, here’s a list of 13 you should definitely make time to watch play.
1) Lionel Messi, Argentina
Lionel Messi is arguably the best player in the world and has been named so five times since 2008. (He received the second-best player in the world honor the other five years.)
2) Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is Messi’s nemesis, for lack of a better word. Since 2008, Ronaldo was named the world’s best soccer player the other five times Messi didn’t win the award (and came in second the times Messi won).
3) Neymar, Brazil
Brazil is one of the favorites to lift the World Cup trophy — and Neymar is the key man who may lead the Seleção to the promised land.
There is already talk that the 26-year-old striker is better than Messi and Ronaldo, and leading Brazil to the 2018 World Cup title could confirm that his star is ascending as the others’ dim. He became the world’s most expensive player last year after Barcelona sold him to Paris-Saint Germain for around $262 million. Neymar wanted to leave, in part, to get out of Messi’s shadow in Barcelona.
4) Mo Salah, Egypt
Egypt’s Mo Salah took the soccer world by storm in 2017 and seemingly came out of nowhere to become one of the planet’s best players.
He’ll cap off a remarkable year by leading his country to its first World Cup in 28 years. Salah has fantastic speed, pinpoint passing ability, and unnatural coolness in front of goal. If Egypt is to have any success, Salah must carry the team on his shoulders.
5) Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
Belgium’s Kevin De Bruyne will look to make an immediate impact for Belgium.
6) Son Heung-min, South Korea
South Korea doesn’t have a great chance of going deep at the World Cup, but Son Heung-min is reason enough to watch “the Reds” play in Russia.
7) Sadio Mane, Senegal
If Senegal is to have any chance of competing for the World Cup title, it’ll need amazing performances from Sadio Mane. Luckily, Mane churns out amazing performances on a consistent basis.
8) Thomas Müller, Germany
The numbers speak for themselves: Germany’s Thomas Müller has scored 10 World Cup goals in his career. That ties him for eighth most in history. If he scores two more, he’ll tie Brazil’s Pele, and if he scores six more, he’ll tie for first.
9) Alex Iwobi, Nigeria
One of the most exciting young players to watch at the World Cup will be Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi.
The 21-year-old forward has only improved since he scored in his first senior professional game two years ago. Iwobi may not be the most important player for Nigeria, but he’ll certainly remain a key one nonetheless.
10) Keylor Navas, Costa Rica
Don’t forget the goalies! Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas has already proven he can play on the biggest stage: He was one of the breakout performers in the 2014 World Cup and has reliably played for Real Madrid since.
11) Antoine Griezmann, France
Don’t let Antoine Griezmann’s 5-foot-9 stature fool you: He stands tall on the soccer field. Griezmann was named the world’s third-best player in 2016, in part because he led France to the finals of the 2016 European championship.
12) Andres Iniesta, Spain
The 2018 World Cup will be a bittersweet moment for soccer fans because it’ll be the last time they’ll see Spain’s Andres Iniesta play.
The 34-year-old, widely regarded as the best midfielder of his generation, will put his dazzling skills on display one last time.
13) Luis Suarez, Uruguay
Always one of the most controversial players, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez will try to keep his head above water in Russia.
There’s no denying Suarez’s talent: He is a natural-born goal scorer and a game changer. Uruguay will always be a threat anytime he’s on the field. The problem is he has a hot temper and makes ill-advised decisions (like shouting racist insults or literally biting opponents).
Golden Ball Award:
The Adidas Golden Ball is given to the outstanding player at the FIFA World Cup. The players who finish second and third are given the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball respectively.
The Adidas Golden Glove is given to the most outstanding goalkeeper at the FIFA World Cup.
- Golden Glove: Manuel Neuer
Best Young Player:
The Hyundai Young Player Award is given to the most outstanding young player at the FIFA World Cup. Players must be at most 21 years old to receive the award; for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, they must be born on or after 1 January 1993.
- Best Young Player: Paul Pogba
[ Also Read – Top 5 Valuable Players(Highest Pay Cheques) ]
Article Source: Vox