FIFA World Cup: Five Lesser-Known Names You Should Know
The much-awaited FIFA World Cup is upon us, with a total of 32 countries vying for that one coveted title. Thirty two teams with 23 players each – that’s a total of 736 footballers including names that are known across the world, and many who are not.
Each team will have young players who’ve fought their way into squads on the back of performances in various leagues, or even for their nation. Some of them may not even get a chance to feature in the playing eleven through the tournament. However, there are stars who despite their age, may be crucial for the countries.
Here’s a look at five young stars that one should look out for in Russia 2018.
1. Bernardo Silva, Portugal
After an impressive maiden season with Manchester City, the Portuguese could turn out to be a crucial part of coach Santos’ game plane in Russia. The 23-year-old attacking midfielder can be expected to assist Ronaldo or even swap quick passes and score with his left foot.
2. Kylian Mbappe, France
Mbappe burst onto the scene for Monaco in the 2016-17 season. And stellar performances in both Ligue 1 and Champions League earned him a move to PSG where he’s managed to do well. At just 19, the forward’s high speed dribbles and confidence should be a big asset for France in FIFA World Cup 2018.
3. Leon Goretzka, Germany
Former Schalke midfielder Goretzka’s consistent performances have earned him a move to Bayern this summer. The 23-year-old – a complete player who can do everything in the midfield – scored three goals and picked up one assist in 5 appearances in the qualifiers for defending champions Germany.
4. Giovani Lo Celso, Argentina
After having a breakout season at PSG, 22-year-old midfielder’s excellent technique, capability to play deep and keep possession will make him important for Argentina. With Biglia racing to be fit for the World Cup after injuring his back, Lo Celso could feature in the tournament soon.
5. Hirving Lozano, Mexico
Hirving Lozano had a massive debut season with PSV Eindhoven, scoring 17 goals in 29 games. The 22-year-old could turn out to be a key player in Mexico’s squad this year, with his pace and precise finished along with the ability to create chances for Javier Hernandez.