The countdown has started for the Fifa World Cup 2018 and in just a few days, the aroma of the Golden tournament will spread all over the football fans across the globe.
As different opinions and predictions of football experts, retired legends and fans had started roaming around the social media, let us have a look at the 5 players that can inspire their teams to world cup glory.
5 Best Players in FIFA World Cup 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Whenever any discussion about football starts, either side of the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry definitely shows up. This time that would be in the red jersey of Portugal. For many years, Portugal had been considered as an ordinary team even under Ronaldo, but after their 2016 Euro Cup triumph, the team is now considered as a strong one. In the very tournament, the 33-year-old Portuguese won the Silver boot, added to which was the 2015-16 champions league and the Ballon d’Or. He had shown consistency and also showed great performance and won the 2016-17 and 2017-18 UCLs, ending up as the top scorer too. Even this season, Ronaldo had scored 42 goals in 41 matches he played. Under his captaincy, Portugal national team had qualified for the world cup after just losing one game in the qualifiers.
Although Ronaldo has lost most of his skilful plays and quickness, his goal scoring ability is the best in the current football world, which can boost up as his performance as in the centre-forward position in the team. Ronaldo can overthrow Miroslav Klose as the top scorer in World Cup history as he is just one goal behind Klose with 15 goals.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
The Barcelona and Argentian star will be determined to mark his name among the Argentine legends by winning the World Cup 2018, which according to him might be his last one. He had played a major role in taking his national team to the 2016 Copa America and the 2015 Copa America and the 2014 Fifa World Cup but had remained unlucky in winning any international title.
Messi had earlier started 2018 with a great performance and had recently won the record 5th Golden Boot after scoring 45 goals in 54 games for the Catalans. He took his national team to the world cup qualification scoring a hat-trick against Ecuador and winning the match by 3-1. The performance had caught the eyes of many football experts who had started expecting a great future for Messi in the World Cup.
The major problem for him is the weakness of the Argentine midfield and defence but if Messi shows the same potential, he can make up for many of these deficiencies.
Neymar JR. (Brazil)
Currently, his name is considered among the most skilful players and best young talents in the world. The current most expensive player had shown glittering performance in Ligue 1 with PSG, winning the league as well as the Copa De France. The 26-year-old winger has scored a total of 25 goals and has assisted 17 goals in the 2017-18 season.
Neymar is the fourth all-time top scorer for the national team with 54 goals in 84 games. had won the under-20 South American Championship and an Olympic gold medal with the youth team and a Confederations Cup in 2013 with the senior team. His importance to his national team can be observed by the fact that his absence,due to an injury, in the 2014 Germany vs. Brazil semi-final led to the 7-1 defeat for Brazil.
The Brazilian is often compared to Ronaldinho and now it is up to him that if he can reach that level by winning the 2018 World Cup, which won’t be much difficult as the Brazilian side had become much stronger than before.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
Most of the people would be surprised to see his name on the list but it’s the experience and the stats which makes him such an important player for Germany.
Overall, the Bavarian has 90 international appearances in which he had scored 38 goals and created 36 goals. To most people’s surprise, only seven of these goals are in friendlies while the other 31 goals are in competitive matches. Muller had scored 10 of the 31 goals in World Cup which proves him to be a gem for his German side. Also, Muller is among the experienced players left in the squad after the retirement of legends like Per Mertesacker, Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Schweinsteiger.
Above all, Thomas Muller has a goal in front of him of levelling the record of Klose as the tournament’s top scorer, as he is the one to whom Muller is usually compared and he can avail the chance with his squad, who are again among the favourites.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
The “Egyptian King” has, against the odds, brought the Pharaohs back to life after 28 years by taking them to the World Cup. It shouldn’t be a cause of surprise for anyone to read his name his in this list after seeing his performance this season.
Salah is the current top scorer of Premier League and has won the Golden Boot recently. By scoring 42 and creating 16 goals, he had made his name among the top players in the short time. Liverpool had, largely due to his contribution of 10 goals and 5 assists, qualified to the Champions League Final but couldn’t win the title due to Salah’s injury in the 30th min.
Now that Salah is recovering fast and would, most likely, be available for the World Cup, his combination of pace and dribbling can give Egypt a big hope of picking the trophy, against the odds, just as they qualified through salah’s penalty goal in the 90th min.