Our football analysts discuss five key players that are expected to inspire their teams to greatness in the soccer world cup.
Players like Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane, Sir Bobby Charlton, Fabio Cannavaro, Rivaldo and many others are known for playing pivotal roles in helping their respective countries win the world cup. Let’s take a look at the players who can make a difference to their teams in the upcoming tournament and why.
La Pulga Atomica had a brilliant 2014 World Cup which saw him being awarded the best player of the tournament, however, his side lost to the Germans in the final. He followed that up with guiding the Argentine national team to two back to back Copa America final and lost to Chile on both occasions. Messi has never won any trophy with his country and will be eager to break his duck. His hat-trick against Ecuador to help them seal qualification to this year’s spectacle showed how much he wants to die for his country. He is also in superb form in the Spanish La Liga and his Barcelona wrapped up the league title with four matches to spare.
Kevin De Bruyne
The 26-year old has produced some scintillating performances for his Manchester City who won the league convincingly with five matches left to play. His club coach, Pep Guardiola has converted him to a central midfield position and that has turned him into one of the most dangerous footballers on the planet right now. Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry would be happy to have such a weapon in their Arsenal.
The peanut boy has been a star performer for Brazil over the last couple of tournament. Their humiliating elimination in the 2014 tournament was attributed to his injury at a crucial stage. He has already won every trophy possible at club level with Barcelona before moving to PSG whom he has put in a comfortable position to reclaim the league title from Monaco before he got injured. Neymar was the star of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup which the Samba Boys won on home soil. He also captained the Brazilian under 23’s to 2016 Summer Olympics glory when he was called upon to help. Selecao will be hoping that the world’s most expensive player recovers in the nick of time for the tournament.
The Tottenham Hotspur’s marksman has already top scored in the Premier League for two seasons and he is once again in contention for the Golden Boot this season as he is only four goals behind Mohamed Salah. Kane was the top scorer in Europe in the 2017 calendar year and that was the first time the feat wasn’t managed by either Ronaldo or Messi in seven years. He will be leading England’s attack and try to help them do away with the underachievers’ tag.
The closest he’s ever come to winning the World Cup was when his native Portugal lost 1-0 to France in the 2006 semifinals. He will be looking to make amends in this year’s World Cup as they crashed out in the first hurdle in the last one where he played with a knee injury. CR7 captained his country to their first ever major trophy in 2016 when they became the UEFA Euro champions. He has helped Real Madrid win the UEFA Champions League three times in the last four years and he’s been crowned the best player in the world on each occasion.