The ten World Cup 2022 players to keep an eye on
England’s Harry Kane
The Three Lions captain has scored one goal per World Cup game. The Tottenham talisman only needs two goals in an England shirt to equal Wayne Rooney’s record of 53 goals.
Kane is a good all-around player who can play as a striker or in central midfield. Referees will be on the lookout for his proclivity to back into defenders leaping for a ball in the box, often sending the defender to the ground.
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski, a game veteran who shows no signs of slowing down, scored 18 goals in his first 19 games for Barcelona. To be clear, no one expects Poland to do well in this World Cup. But if something major does occur, Lewandowski, 34, will undoubtedly be at the center of it.
For seven seasons, he was the top scorer in Germany’s Bundesliga. In the 2020-21 season, he scored 41 goals. Lewandowski is a 6’1″ goal-scoring machine who is widely regarded as one of the greatest center-forwards of all time. In every way, he is a mature player who prioritizes hard work and discipline in his pursuit of greatness.
Belgium’s Michy Batshuayi
This Belgium team is not short on stars. Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard appear to score goals for the sake of scoring goals. Batshuayi, on the other hand, scores when it counts the most, with 26 goals for Belgium. He possesses speed and strength, and he will work well with teammates to create opportunities out of thin air.
It may be difficult to stand out in this team, which has to be one of the favorites to win the championship.
The Liverpool midfielder, 29, is unlikely to find himself on the scoresheet at this World Cup. He has yet to score for Brazil in 28 appearances, and Tite has named a squad of nine attackers, so he might not get much of a look in the penalty box.
However, his strong style makes him one of the best defensive midfielders in the game. He can play as a center-back when necessary, and his game vision is so good that he is well-known for winning possession and recycling balls, turning threats into new attacks.
Wales’ Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale may not be carrying the hopes of a country returning to the World Cup for the first time in 64 years solely on his shoulders, but it certainly feels that way. Wales has some good players on the team, but Bale is a global superstar. He’s devastating when he’s on form. However, personality clashes and a lack of game time at Real Madrid led to his transfer to Los Angeles, where he is unlikely to face the same level of opposition as he did in the Premier League and La Liga.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo
At 37, Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer may be slowing down. But he remains a formidable force in front of the goal. Ronaldo is a creative playmaker, a showman who knows and loves that the world is watching him. He is frequently given a lot of freedom to roam outside of traditional positions.
Ronaldo has 117 goals for Portugal. If he can put his problems with Manchester United behind him when he boards the plane to Qatar, we’re sure to see him score a few more goals.
Morocco’s Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech is one of the tournament’s most dangerous players due to his accuracy, speed, dribbling, technical prowess, and stellar free-kicks. Morocco’s success in Group F, which includes Belgium, Canada, and Croatia, will be largely due to the Chelsea winger, who was nicknamed “The Wizard” while at Ajax.
Keep an eye out for moves that start wide on the right and end with pinpoint passes to teammates on diagonal runs. But it’s not just about the assists for him. With 17 goals for Morocco under his belt, his speed allows him to outrun opponents and create his opportunities.
What can you say about Neymar that hasn’t already been said? He has 75 goals for Brazil. He can play as a striker, winger, or midfielder. He’s fast, and he’s got all the skills, tricks, and flicks you could want. He’s a sparkling footballer who is a joy to watch. He can outrun defenders and score with either his foot or his head. If he wants to humiliate an opponent, you might even see a rainbow flick.
But Neymar has a large target on his back. Expect plenty of physical challenges against him, as well as him capitalizing on each one by diving and rolling around on the field.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi
Messi is without a doubt the best footballer of his generation. Any generation is possible. He’s been dubbed the “PlayStation footballer” because of his incredible ability to appear to be hard-coded by a computer programmer. He has received seven Ballon d’Or awards. He’s broken every European record.
But he has yet to win a World Cup. And, at 35, he’s unlikely to get another chance.
France’s Kylian Mbappe
Who among the next generation is capable of filling Messi’s shoes? You only need to look over Messi’s shoulder at PSG to see one candidate: Mbappe.
The 23-year-old has already scored 28 times for France. Mbappe, another forward who can play on either wing due to his both-footedness, provides chances and assists for his teammates, particularly when coming from the right.
He’s inventive, with explosive acceleration and sudden changes of pace and direction that confuse opponents. Mbappe, a phenomenal talent, has the potential to be among the best the world has ever seen. This World Cup represents a huge opportunity for him to get closer to that goal.