FIFA World Cup : Top XI Football Players – North America

Roman Torres Armando Cooper Javier Hernandez Keylor Navas

The three North-American countries, Panama, Mexico and Costa Rica would be looking to upset the South American and European big boys. Let’s take a look at the North American Top XI Football Players comprising of Countries that have qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018.

Goalkeeper 

Keylor Navas (Costa Rica Football Team )

The biggest player on the list, Keylor Navas used the 2014 World Cup as a platform to convince Real Madrid to shell out 8.7 Million Euros for him. 4 Years later the man has won the Champions League three times.

Defence 

Left-Back

Michael Murilo (Panama)

Murilo is a versatile defender who can play as a wide-back on either Side and plies his trade for The New York Red Bulls in the MLS. 

Centre-Back

Roman Torres (Panama Football Team)

The Panama Football team captain who is also the Heaviest player of all the 32 teams and guided his country to the World Cup, his winner against Costa Rica is the Reason Panama qualified for the FIFA World Cup for the first time.

Carlos Salcedo (Mexico Football Team)

The 22-Year old Mexican has been impressive for Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt so much so the German Club has signed the Centre-Back permanently from Deportivo Guadalajara ( he was on loan for the 2017/18 Season)

Miguel Layun (Mexico Football Team) 

The Sevilla Right-Back could come in handy, 29 years old and bags of experience the Mexican provides stability at the Right Flank.

Midfield  

Central Midfield

Andrés Guardado (Mexico Football Team)

Despite Fitness concerns the Real Betis Midfielder made the World Cup squad and with 145 caps he definitely makes this team.

Central Midfield

Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica Football Team)

The 32-Year-old Costa Rican Central Midfielder was a no-brainer considering his superior attacking abilities and his experience with a host of good clubs like Fulham, PSV and now Porto went in his favor.

Central Defensive Midfielder

Armando Cooper (Panama Football Team)

The Panama International is a strong Midfielder with very impressive defensive skills as well.

Forwards

Left-Wing

Hirving Lozano

The Mexican Winger has had a breakout Season at PSV and is one of the hottest young Players on the market. 19 goals in his debut Season. WOW.

Striker

Javier Hernandez Chicharito (Mexico Football Team)

The Former Manchester United Super-Sub is at West Ham United and is also Mexico’s all-time Top Goalscorer.

Right-Wing 

Giovani Dos Santos (Mexico Football Team)

The Former Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur winger id only 29 years old, seems like he played for the Catalan giants’ ages ago right? still not in his 30’s the Winger could prove to be key to Mexico’s chances.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Oldest XI Football players

Oldest XI Football players

Oldest XI Football players:

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has a host of players who are very experienced but are towards the fag end of their careers. So let’s have a look at the Oldest Playing XI in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

Goalkeeper 

Essam El Hadary (Egypt)- 45 Years Old

The Egyptian is the oldest player in this World Cup and the 45-Year-old will now finally get to witness the World Cup after starting his career way back in 1993. 

Defence

Centre-Back

Rafael Marquez (Mexico)- 39 Years Old

The Mexican Centre Back will be appearing in his fifth World Cup, the 39-Year-Old has already announced his retirement from Club Football and the 2018 FIFA World Cup is the last time we’re going to see the Mexican on a Football Pitch.

Centre-Back

Felipe Baloy (Panama)- 37 Years Old

The Panamanian and his Country are going to make their Debut in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Country that’s renowned for its canal Qualified at the expense of the USMNT.

Bruno Alves (Portugal)- 36 Years Old

Centre-Back

The World Cup will be Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe & Bruno Alves’ 7th consecutive tournament with Portugal – the trio have all been called up since Euro 2008.

The Veteran Defender will be playing in his third World Cup and could start alongside Pepe instead of Prodigal defender Ruben Dias. A problem of plenty for Fernando Santos.

Midfield 

Central Midfield

Andres Iniesta (Spain)- 34 Years Old

When you think of Iniesta and the World Cup only one thing comes to mind, 2010 South Africa. Iniesta won Spain their Debut World Cup and seems like the only player on this list who has a realistic chance to win it in Russia

Check out Andres Iniesta: Barcelona’s finest moves on

Left Midfield

Yuri Zhirkov (Russia)- 34 Years Old

The Former Blue last played for Chelsea back in 2011…. seems like a long time ago doesn’t it? the 34-Year-Old featured in his Country’s 5-0 thumping of Saudi Arabia as the hosts started the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a bang!

Central Defensive Midfielder

Ingi Skulason (Iceland)- 35 Years Old

The Iceland International will be the CDM in this team but at 35 Years I’m not sure how much ground would he be able to cover. 

Left Midfield

Krohn-Dehli (Denmark)- 35 Years Old

The Danish International at his peak was a threatening Attacking Midfielder for Ajax, Sevilla and Brøndby IF. At 34 the Dane is surely playing his last World Cup.

Forwards

Right Wing

Tim Cahill (Australia)- 38 Years Old

The 38-Year-Old is the all-time Highest Goalscorer for the ‘Socceroos’ with 50 Goals and also has 5 Goals in World Cups. Also that Volley against the Netherlands in 2014… Sweet as a nut.

Striker

 Blas Perez (Panama)- 37 Years Old 

The 37-Year-Old has been a Goal machine for Panama and has found the net 43 times in 113 appearances. The aging Striker still has the responsibility of leading the line for Panama.

Left Wing

Ricardo Quaresma (Portugal)- 34 Years Old

Ricardo Quaresma is another ‘Oldie’ who’s making his World Cup Debut, the Besiktas Forward has played for some really big sides, Porto, Inter, and Chelsea to name a few. In the end, it was his performances at Turkish Club Besiktas that took him to the World Cup for the first time. 

 

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Youngest XI Football Players

FIFA World Cup 2018: Youngest XI

Playing in the World Cup is every young player’s dream, XI Football Players are going to see that dream become a reality, let’s have a look at the best Youngest XI Football Players.

Goalkeeper

Francis Uzoho (Nigeria)- 19 Years Old

The Youngster Football Players plays for Deportivo La Coruna in the La Liga, the Nigerian stands tall between the sticks for the ‘Super Eagles’ at 6 foot 5 Inches.

 

Defence

Left-Back

Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)-19 Years Old

19 years old and a Champions League winner, The Moroccan Full-Back was a part of Real Madrid’s Youth setup and was promoted to the First team Squad this Season. A lot will be expected from the Youngster in the future.

 

Centre-Back

Davinson Sanchez (Columbia)-22 Years Old

Tottenham Hotspur’s record signing was exceptional in his first full Season under Mauricio Pochettino. The Bort London Club paid 42 Million Pounds for the Centre-back and Considering he’s just 22-years-old, it seems like Money well spent.

 

Centre-Back

Ruben Dias (Portugal)- 21 Years Old

The Benfica Centre-Back is expected to start with Pepe in the heart of the Defence. The 21-Year-old has been impressive for Benfica and his performances have earned him a much-deserved call-up.

 

Right-Back

Trent-Alexander Arnold (England)- 19 Years Old

The teenager has had a breakthrough Season under Jurgen Klopp that saw Liverpool go all the way to the Champions League Final. Alander-Arnold has been absolutely sensational and is certainly a player with a bright prospect.

 

Midfield

Central Defensive Midfield

Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi (Nigeria)- 21 Years Old

The 21-Year-old CDM plies his trade for English Premier League Club Leceister City. Ndidi fills the role of the CDM, which has become a very important role in the modern game. Ndidi averages 4.2 tackles a game in the Premier League and would be a welcome addition to this side.

 

Central Attacking Midfield

Marco Asensio (Spain)- 22 Years Old

 Asensio is one of the most sought-after players in the World, the 22-year-old Real Madrid sensation is linked with almost every top English club linked with a move for the Spaniard. 

 

Central Attacking Midfield

Dele Alli (England)-22 Years Old

The Tottenham Hotspur Midfielder has been one of England’s brightest stars and has moved from strength to strength since moving to White Hart Lane from MK Dons in 2015. Alli is a key part of Gareth Southgate’s Midfield and the 22-Year-Old could be very dangerous on his day.

 

Forwards

Left-Wing 

Marcus Rashford (England)-19 Years Old

Manchester United’s ‘Boy Wonder’ makes this team and would look to exploit the left flank with his blistering pace. Still a teenager, the forward has been a favorite at Old Trafford and Gareth Southgate would be pleased to have him in his Squad.

 

Striker

Kylian Mbappe (France)-19 Years Old

The PSG forward may not be available for France’s first encounter against Australia, owing to a knee injury. The second youngest player in the World Cup and the second Most expensive player in the World. Do I really need to say more?

 

Right-Wing

Ousmane Dembele (France) 

The French International has a lot of potentials and showcased a very small fraction of what he’s capable of at Barcelona this Season. The Former Dortmund Winger could use the World Cup as the perfect opportunity to start afresh and hit the reset button.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Favourites to qualify from each group

FIFA World Cup URUGUAY SPAIN FRANCE ARGENTINA BRAZIL GERMANY BELGIUM COLOMBIA Group

With the number of days to the 2018 FIFA World Cup down to nine, let’s try and get some predictions in. The Group stage sets up a team and gives us a basis for the rest of the tournament, with some tricky Groups in Russia this time lets try to predict who makes it through to the Round of 16 and who doesn’t.

Group A

Teams: Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay

Uruguay is certainly favorites to top the group with their lethal striker duo of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez along with Atletico Madrid defensive pair of Jose Giminez and captain Diego Godin, Uruguay should comfortably finish on top of the group. Russia has a home advantage but despite being hosts, We’re going to go with Mo Salah’s Egypt as the second team to go through.

Group B

Teams: Iran, Morrocco, Portugal, and Spain

This one’s easy, 2010 World Cup Champions Spain look very well balanced from attack to defence, Spain’s squad depth is immense and they will be favorites to win their group. Portugal seems all set to finish Runners-up, Cristiano Ronaldo and co. should go through comfortably.

Group C

Teams: Australia, Denmark, France, and Peru

France finishes top of this group, no questions asked Griezmann, Mbappe, Lemar, Lloris, Varane do I need to say more? Denmark on paper looks very good with the likes of Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel these talented players should take Denmark across the line.

Group D

Teams: Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, and Nigeria

Argentina, clear favorites to qualify in this group, Leo Messi, Dybala, Higuain, and Aguero look all set to outscore their opponents and top their group. Croatia’s deadly midfield trio of Modric, Rakitic and Kovacic can really dominate proceedings, an attack consisting of the likes of Perisic and Mandzukic isn’t too bad either.

Group E

Teams: Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia

Brazil according to all the bookies are favorites to win the World Cup, so topping their group shouldn’t be a problem. Serbia and Switzerland, that’s a tough one Serbia go through for me just because they have some experienced players in all departments.

Group F

Teams: Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Sweden

Everyone would Fancy Defending Champions Germany to go through to the Round of 16, without any question. Though it’s tough to choose between Mexico and Sweden, we’re gonna go with Sweden as the Runners-up, they knocked Italy out, that has to count for something.

Group G

Teams: Belgium, England, Tunisia and Panama

Belgium and England should emerge from this Group as favorites but I’m going to go with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium to emerge as victors in Group G. England have bottled their World Cup before but shouldn’t have a problem finishing runners-up. 

Group H

Teams: Poland, Columbia, Senegal, Japan

Columbia should go on to qualify from this group comfortably considering the stalwarts in their team, James Rodriguez, Falcao, Bacca and Davidson Sanchez. Should be a piece of cake. Though Japan, Senegal, and Poland possess decent squads with a star player here and there, We’re going to go with Poland, Lewandowski would be key for their chances, but I believe they’ll make it.

 

Transfer news: Thomas Lemar set to Join Atletico Madrid

Thomas Lemar to Atletico Madrid

French International Thomas Lemar is in Russia as the Les Blues prepare for the World Cup that kicks off tomorrow. The Monaco winger has agreed to join Atletico Madrid from Monaco for a fee rumored to be in the region of 72 Million Euros plus bonuses. Atletico Madrid in a statement has confirmed that the transfer has been agreed in ‘Principle’ and the details will be ironed out in the coming days.

Fans of the French National team would be hoping the deal gets finalized before France takes on Australia on the 16th of June. Didier Deschamps will be hoping that Lemar doesn’t get distracted and the transfer talk has no impact on his game. The deal would not only excite Lemar but would also make France and soon-to-be Atletico teammate Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann was linked with a move away from Atleti and agreed to stay provided the club reinforce the squad with ‘Star Players’, I think it’s safe to say that Lemar fits that bill. It would be interesting to see how Lemar and Griezmann would link up at the Wanda Metropolitano next Season. 

Lemar’s signing is a crucial one for the Los rojiblancos, who lost wingers, Nicolas Gaitan (18 Million Euros) and Yanick Carrasco (30 Million Euros) to Chinese side Dalian Yifang. Lemar would be a welcome addition to the Atletico attack, an attack consisting of Diego Costa, Antoine Griezmann, and  Thomas Lemar is certainly one to look forward to.

FIFA World Cup 2018: The Heaviest, the lightest, the Tallest,the Shortest,the Oldest and the Youngest

Yahia Alshehri Lovre Kalinic Takashi Inui Roman Torres

The FIFA World Cup has players from different nationalities, ethnicities, religions and different tongues. But along with all this diversity, we have players of different ages, shapes, and sizes, mind you I mean that literally and not figuratively. So let’s have a look at The Heaviest, the lightest, the tallest, the shortest, the oldest and the Youngest Players in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Heaviest: Roman Torres 99 KG (Panama)

6 Feet and 2 inches, the 99 KG Panamanian scored the most important goal in his Country’s history, the goal that sent Panama to the World Cup for the very first time. He must have felt the ‘Weight’ of an entire nation…… Literally

Lightest: Takashi Inui 59 KG (Japan)

The Betis Winger is the lightest player in the FIFA World Cup 2018 and Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard mises out being the Lightest player by 1 Kilogram at 60 KGs

Tallest: Lovre Kalinic 6 Ft 7 inches (Croatia)

The Croatian International like most extremely tall footballers is a Goalkeeper, he stands tall at 6 feet and 7 inches. That’s 2 meters, Kalinic is 1 feet and 3 inches shorter than the goal. Let that settle in.

Shortest: Yahia Alshehri (Saudi Arabia) and Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland) 5 Ft 4 Inches

It’s a tie! Saudi National Yahia Alshehri and Premier League player Xherdan Shaqiri are short, really really short. Both players stand at 5 feet 4 inches, to put things in perspective, Kalinic is 1 feet and 3 Inches taller than Alshehri and Shaqiri. 

Oldest: Essam El Hadary 45 Years old (Egypt)

45 Years old, 158 caps for Egypt and a professional career 25 years. El Hadary is finally going to the World Cup, What a story!      For more on El Hadary Check out: Essam El Hadary, Living the Dream with Broken hands.

Youngest: Trent Alexander-Arnold (England), Daniel Arzani (Australia), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Kylian Mbappe (France) and Francis Uzoho (Nigeria) 19 Years Old

 

The Five Nineteen Year-olds will want to absorb it all in and hope to use this World Cup as a platform to progress their Career in the right direction. Especially Mbappe, Alexander-Arnold and Hakimi, all 3 have bags of potential to be world-class. 

Sunil Chettri: Indian Captain equals Leo Messi’s Record!

Sunil Chhetri

Bengaluru FC and India Captain, Sunil Chhetri has gone against the odds and has equaled Lionel Messi’s International goalscoring record. Chettri and Messi are both at 64 international goals and the Indian Skipper has equaled the record in 101 appearances, that’s 23 appearances lesser than the Argentine Magician.

“Those are just stats, there is definitely no comparison between me and Messi. I am a huge fan of him.”, Sunil Chhetri quickly played down the moment and he was right in doing so. Yes, there is no comparison, the opponents Messi faced were a host of World class teams, the Argentine is also days away from playing his Fourth World Cup. But what Indians who follow the game need to realize that India needed a Sunil Chhetri right now, we need to look at him as an inspiration and hope for that ‘Eureka Moment’ that would inspire the whole Country to take Football seriously.

The Juncture at which Indian Football finds itself in now is very similar to where Cricket was at the 90’s, we knew we had a decent team but one man sparked the revolution, Sachin Tendulkar, He inspired millions and as they say the rest is History. As a country, we need to believe that we have one of the best players in the World, a man that works hard and gives it his all every time he wears the Indian blue.

The overwhelming response that Sunil Chhetri’s social media vide garnered is definitely a positive sign for Indian Football, but what needs to be understood is that the support needs to consistently come in because without the fans the game is nothing. Sunil Chhetri is 33 years old and probably doesn’t have more than a couple years of Prime football left in him, we need to not only cheer him on but each and every player on the field needs to feel loved and encouraged. If we can do that as fans, I can promise you, by 2026 India will make the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Manchester City Players going to the World Cup

Manchester City Sergio Aguero Raheem Sterling Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City has been absolutely sensational this season, under Pep Guardiola the “Citizens” have looked effortless, attractive and Clinical. Their Title winning season has been rewarding and the Blue side of Manchester has 16 players going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the most from any club.

England: Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph and John Stones.

Walker, Stones, and Delph were key men in Pep Guardiola’s Defence and were rock solid for Manchester City while Raheem Sterling has had a dream season scoring 23 Goals and 12 assists. Gareth Southgate will be hoping for more of the same from his Man City contingent.

Brazil: Ederson Moraes, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Danilo

Gabriel Jesus has been a goal machine since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2016 and has even been giving City all-time top scorer Sergio Aguero a tough time. Ederson Moraes certainly fits the ‘Sweeper Keeper’ role for Man City but may fail to make the team for Brazil courtesy Alisson Becker’s amazing form. Fernandinho executes his plans so well in the CDM role and Right-Back Danilo has been in good form at the fag end of the season.

Belgium: Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne

The Belgian Duo of Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne could be important players for Roberto Martinez, the experience Vincent Kompany brings to the table will be priceless and everyone knows Kevin De Bruyne’s abilities as Creator-in-Chief.

Argentina: Nicolas Otamendi and Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero has now become Man City’s all-time top scorer while Nicolas Otamendi has reasserted his position as the team’s top Center-Back despite the arrival of Laporte in the Winter Transfer Window, Good time to be Argentine at the Etihad,

Germany: Ilkay Gundogan

The Fans of the Premier League are shocked that Premier League Young Player of the Year, Leroy Sane wasn’t included in the German Squad. But Man City player Ilkay Gundogan seems to have recovered from that horrific ACL injury and the comeback is complete. Good to see the lad’s a fighter!

Spain: David Silva

The Man City Midfielder has been a class act since he signed for Manchester City in 2010. 8 years later, he’s still a class act. Some things never change.

France: Benjamin Mendy

The former Monaco man endured an injury-hit season, but his determination has born fruit and the comeback is complete. 

Portugal: Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva hasn’t been a regular starter under Pep Guardiola but the Portuguese Attacking Midfielder has been impressive in the opportunities he’s had. 

FIFA World Cup 2018: South America XI

Marcelo Suarez Messi Neymar

Though Football was founded in England, The South Americans made the game great. Brazil with five World Cups, Argentina and Uruguay with two apiece is a testament to the Continent’s footballing prowess.

Goalkeeper

The Brazilian shot-stopper doesn’t have too much competition and considering the Season he had with AS Roma, he walks straight into the team.

 

Defence

Left-Back

Marcelo

 The four-time Champions League Winner is hands down the best left-back in South America. The Real Madrid Superstar should have no problem making the South America XI. 

 

Centre-back

Thiago Silva

The PSG Defender is a veteran and his experience would be invaluable for the South American XI.

 

Centre-back

Diego Godin (Uruguay)

The Uruguay Captain and our first non-Brazilian on the list! Godin has led both Atletico Madrid and Uruguay by example, his performances have been consistent and praiseworthy.

 

Right-Back

Danilo (Brazil)

The Brazilian didn’t have the best of starts at Manchester but has cemented his place in the Brazilian National side owing to good performance in the fag end of the Season.

Midfielders

Central Defensive Midfielder

Casemiro (Brazil)

The role of the CDM has become so important in the modern game, the ball winner role to ensure you’re in control of the game. Casemiro has done that role so well for Real Madrid as well as Brazil.

Central Attacking Midfielder

 

Paulo Dybala (Argentina) 

The Argentine has been prolific for Juventus this season and played a vital role in retaining the Serie A for the seventh consecutive time.

 

Central Attacking Midfielder

Phil Coutinho (Brazil)

The Brazilian is one of the most exciting talents in the World and it was no surprise when Barcelona coughed up 105 Million pounds (additional 37 million based on performances) for the former Liverpool man.  

Forwards

Left wing

Neymar will be absolutely key for Brazil, his attacking abilities could determine the World Cup. The Brazilian is the most expensive player in the World and is often renowned as the best in the World after Messi and Ronaldo.

Striker

Suarez ( Uruguay)

The last time Suarez played in a World Cup, Georgio Chiellini left with his bite marks as a souvenir. Suarez has done some really crazy things but, he is a lethal striker with some jaw-dropping finishing.

 

Right Wing

Messi

Messi completes this attack and Barcelona’s infamous MSN are reunited. Messi has been unbelievable and an absolute delight to watch. He is the most complete player in the World and the little magician would do everything in his power to turn that 2014 Runners-up medal into gold!