Gabriel Jesus, Slumdog to Millionaire

Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus, 110% Hustle 0% Luck.

For Generations, Brazil has produced some of the greatest footballers with the likes of Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho all leaving their stamp on world football. Despite not being financially sound, the Brazilians always seem to make up for the lack of facilities and infrastructure with their talent. 

With the World Cup just days away we have to talk about one of the greatest stories in modern day football. In 2014, a 16-year-old Gabriel Jesus was playing for Palmeiras in Sao Paulo’s under-17 championship and painting the streets of Sao Paulo in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. brought up in the favelas(slum) of Sao Paulo, a locality that was engulfed in crime and poverty, Jesus found his escape in Football. One of Jesus’s first coaches, Jose’ Francisco Mamede, recalls how Jesus stood apart and more importantly was a Hard worker “Gabriel used to say that he never missed training, never missed a game. He was always first in line for exercises and drills – he wasn’t one of those who loitered at the back pretending to do the drill, like so many are … I’ve had at least 10 young players here who were as good, if not better than him, but they didn’t make it because they were lazy. Something that Gabriel never was.”

 

Even back in 2014, Jesus was one of the best teenage strikers in the country, scoring 37 goals in 22 games in Sao Paulo’s under-17 championship. Jesus Quickly broke into the Palmeiras first team and finished his first and only full Season with the Sao Paulo outfit with 12 goals and helped them lift their first National Championship in 1994. Jesus was included in the Brazilian squad for the Olympics, which was to be held in Rio, Jesus scored 3 goals in the competition as Brazil won Gold, but more importantly set the foundation of his partnership and friendship with Brazilian star Neymar. 

Brazilian Legend Zico has showered his praise on Jesus and has no doubt that the layer has traits to be one of the best in the world in an interview with ESPN FC “If he continues to grow, he has everything to achieve that. He demonstrates every day that he’s a great professional, with fantastic quality.

“Gabriel is a player who pursues hard work with competence. He has everything to become one of the greatest in Brazilian football history.” 

Now as the young Striker is on his way to Russia and the whole of Sao Paulo and Brazil will be hoping Jesus can come out all guns blazing and take Brazil to World Cup glory.

The 10 Most Valuable Footballers in the World

Harry Kane Neymar Kylian Mbappe

According to the exclusive CIES Football Observatory algorithm, Harry Kane has become the world most expensive player from the perspective of his transfer values. After his another outstanding season, the attacker from Egland is now worth €201.2 million. Tottenham’s striker is even above of two Paris St-Germain’s players: Neymar (€197.5 m) and Kylian Mbappé (€186.5 m). The top 100 list for big-5 league footballers is available in issue number 230 of the Weekly Post.

“Since 2013, the CIES Football Observatory has developed a powerful econometric approach to estimate the transfer value of professional footballers on a scientific basis. The values presented refer to the fee corresponding to the type of team most likely to be interested in recruiting the player. The specific price per engaging club is available on a consultancy basis.” – CIES Team

The 10 most valuable players in the world today (according to CIES Football OVservatory) are:

10. Romelu Lukaku – €163.4m (Manchester United/Belgium)

One of the best strikers in the Premier League, Romelu Lukaku is a strong target-man for both Manchester United and Belgium. He added 30 goals last season which took his total tally to 117 goals. The 25-year old holds a value of  €163.4 million.

9. Paulo Dybala – €164.2m (Juventus/Argentina)

Paulo Dybala, the Argentinean prodigy had yet another prolific season as he finished the season as the clubs top scorer with 22 goals and provided 5 assists. At the age of 24, Dybala has scored 74 goals and made 31 assists since joining Palermo in 2012. The forward has been one of the best young players in world football and has a value of €164.2 million.

8. Antoine Griezmann – €164.5m (Atletico/France)

The Player of the tournament of EURO 2016, Antoine Griezmann ended his season with 29 goals in all competitions as he helped Atletico lift the Europa League trophy and the 2nd place in the La Liga table. With most of the forwards not being guaranteed a spot in the frontline of France, Griezmann is one of the players who is assured to start for Les Bleus. The 27-year old Frenchman has played 350 club matches scoring 148 goals and producing 43 assists in his career.  He holds a value of €164.5 million.

7. Kevin De Bruyne – €167.2m (Manchester City/Belgium)

The best player in City’s 100-point campaign last season was none other than Premier League Play-maker of the Year, Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian superstar featured in 37 games scoring 8 goals and holding a league-high record of 16 assists and was the key to City’s successful campaign this season. The 26-year old midfielder has 55 goals and 94 assists to his name in a total of 237 club matches. He is currently valued at €167.2 million.

6. Dele Alli – €171m (Tottenham Hotspur/England)

The 22-year old midfielder, Dele Alli is the 2nd youngest footballer in the top 10. He scored 14 goals and assisted 14 in all competitions this season added to his total tally of 40 goals and 33 assists in his 132 senior appearances for club and country. He is also one of the hottest prospects in world football with a value of  €171 million.

5. Mohamed Salah –  €171.3m (Liverpool/Egypt)

PFA Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah has finished this season as one of Premier League’s greatest ever as set a new record of League’s highest goals scored in a season, 32 and made 10 assists as well. With 87 goals and 40 assists in his 186 club matches, the 25-year old looks set to have a massively prolific career ahead. Egypt’s talisman who scored 71% of the team’s goals in Russia 2018 qualifying rounds is none other than Mohamed Salah, who now holds a value of  €171.3 million.

4. Lionel Messi – €184.2m (Barcelona/Argentina)

The current holder of the Golden Ball (2014 Brazil) and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi had an immensely prolific season finishing ahead of Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo as Europe’s top scorer. The fact that he performs like this every year is the reason that the fans are not going crazy about his 45 goals in 54 games.  With 416 goals and 146 assists to his name, in just 413 professional matches, Messi (30) holds a value of  €184.2 million to his name.

3. Kylian Mbappe – €186.5m (PSG/France)

The 19-year old has made 86 senior appearances and scored 39 goals and made 21 assists and is the youngest player in the top 10. Mbappe has been in sensational form this season with PSG scoring 23 goals and making 11 assists. The young Frenchman is set to be one of the key players in the French World Cup squad. He is valued at €186.5 million.

2. Neymar – €195m (PSG/Brazil)

Neymar, a FIFA Confederations Cup winner and Olympic gold medallist, is set to make his appearance at a World Cup for the second time. This Paris Saint-Germain forward also won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup title with former club Barcelona. In 20 matches, scored 19 goals(3rd highest) and provided 13 assists(highest), 2.1 shots on target/match(highest), 7.1 dribbles/match (highest) and was awarded the Ligue 1’s Best Player award. Who knows what he could have done had he not been injured for the latter half of the season. At the age of 26, Neymar has appeared in 203 matches, scoring 123 goals and making 73 assists and holds a value of €195 million.

1. Harry Kane – €201.2m (Tottenham Hotspur/England)

Newly appointed England Captain and the hero of all the Spurs fans around the world, Harry Kane has played his most prolific season yet scoring 30 goals in 37 games. The 24-year old still has the whole world at his feet and is undoubtedly regarded as one of the world’s best. With 124 goals scored in 191 matches, Kane has now firmly established as one of the world’s leading strikers through his performance at his club and his country. He is the most expensive player in the world with a value of €201.2 million.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Barcelona players going to Russia

Lionel Messi Philippe Coutinho Samuel Umtiti Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Barcelona

With the World Cup just around the corner, the fans are brimming with immense joy and excitement. Some people just need another reason to search something about the World Cup. We tend to connect the things that we love; one way is to look for players who represent our clubs in the World Cup and add another few countries to the list of teams to support in the upcoming World Cup. This article will look at one club FC Barcelona and the 14 players who are off to Russia.

Here are the players from FC Barcelona who will be playing in the FIFA World Cup 2018

ARGENTINA: Lionel Messi 

Argentina faces a tough group with Croatia, Nigeria & Iceland. The current holder of the Golden Ball (2014 Brazil) and five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi had an immensely prolific season finishing ahead of Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo as Europe’s top scorer. Often considered as the best footballer in history(debatable), Messi has been voted FIFA’s player of the year on five separate occasions. Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer and captain will be making his fourth World Cup appearance at Russia 2018. The 30-year old has scored 64 goals in 124 matches for Argentina.

BELGIUM: Thomas Vermaelen 

Belgium has been tipped for greatness for several years now, with the Red Devils possessing blistering potential in a superb crop of players. Their golden generation is not getting any younger, however, and their fans will be hoping they can hit their promised heights at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. Thomas Vermaelen has been a fringe player after his transfer to Barcelona but he has 63 caps for his country and is still a relatively more important player for the Belgian National Team.

BRAZIL: Philippe Coutinho & Paulinho 

Brazil is considered to be one of the most powerful sides going to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is believed that all Brazilians are born with the gift of playing football and it is hard to disagree with the statement seeing the never-ending amount of gifted Brazilians in world football. Coutinho is one such Brazilian who is one of the most technically gifted players in the world. He has the ability to go past defenders with a certain flair and pick out the runners with amazing through balls. He has scored 9 goals in 36 matches for Brazil and will look to add to his tally in the upcoming World Cup.

Paulinho is the second player joining the Brazil squad after Coutinho and can be looked at as his less shiny version. He is a rugged central midfielder who likes to cover as much as grass as possible in the 90 minutes he plays. The 29-year old performs his best in the yellow shirt and has already scored 12 goals in his 48 appearances for the country.

COLOMBIA: Yerry Mina

Jose Pekerman’s side will face Japan, Poland, and Senegal in Group H. Colombia is poised to finish on the top of the group. In terms of who will advance to the knockout stages, the battle between Poland and Colombia could prove pivotal. Yerry Mina is new to the Barcelona side and is considered a hot prospect, his performance in Colombia’s campaign will be detrimental for his stature among other high-profile youngsters. At the age of 24, Mina has already earned 12 caps for his country.

CROATIA: Ivan Rakitic 

One of the more important matches would take place on the 21st of June this year between Croatia and Argentina, The duel between Ivan Rakitic and his Barcelona teammate, Lionel Messi will definitely prove to be one of the many intriguing subplots to what will be just the second meeting between the two nations on the global stage. Rakitic has earned 91 caps for Croatia and is undoubtedly one of their most important players.

FRANCE: Samuel Umtiti & Ousmane Dembele 

France is in a relatively easy group with Peru, Australia, and Denmark, all of them considered to be leagues below France. Samuel Umtiti has been a key player for the French National team since his performances in the 2016 Euro Cup. At the age of 24, he has earned 18 caps for his country and also cemented his place in the first team in the process.

Ousmane Dembele is one of the hottest prospects in world football, after his mega-money move to Spanish giants Barcelona, he has earned a spot in 23-man French World Cup squad. The 21-year old has already played in 11 matches for his nation and will hope to add more to his tally.

GERMANY: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen 

Joachim Low’s reigning champions will face Mexico, South Korea, and Sweden in Group F. Die Mannschaft will be looking to defend their title as the World Cup champions of 2014. Ter Stegen had an amazing season for Barcelona with 19 clean sheets out of his 37 games. The German International built his stellar performance to the extent that some fans believe that he deserves the no.1 shirt ahead of Manuel Neuer.

SPAIN: Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta & Jordi Alba  

Spain is in one of the most competitive groups in the upcoming World Cup with Iran, Morroco and UEFA Euro 16 winners Portugal. Piqué was a key figure in defence and a natural leader for Barcelona’s back line. He is set to partner Sergio Ramos and form one of the deadliest defensive duos in the world. The 31-year old has earned 97 caps for his country and is sure to reach a century in the upcoming World Cup.

Sergio Busquets recently passed a century of caps for his national team. One of the most experienced and disciplined footballers in the world today, the defensive midfielder is a guaranteed starter in the amazing Spanish midfield.

The scorer of the winner in Spain’s last World Cup victory, Andres Iniesta still continues to have an impact on the squad. With 13 goals in 126 matches for the Spanish National side, he’s been selected in the squad for the upcoming World Cup as well.

The Spanish full-back is considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. His composed defensive style as well as ability to burst down the flanks and link up with attackers flawlessly makes Alba a complete full-back. The 29-year old holds 61 caps for the Spanish National team. 

URUGUAY: Luis Suarez 

With two-time champions, Uruguay looking like the team which will most likely top Group A, The 2nd place will most definitely be contested strongly among Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. A prolific striker for club and country, Suarez is Uruguay’s all-time leading goalscorer. A European and world champion with Barcelona, the forward has scored five times at the FIFA World Cup, having starred at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014. The 31-year old will be looking to add to his tally of 51 goals in 98 appearances for his country.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Arsenal players on the plane Russia

Danny Welbeck David Ospina Granit Xhaka Mesut Özil Arsenal

With the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, the fans are brimming with immense joy and excitement. Some people just need another reason to search something about the FIFA World Cup. We tend to connect the things that we love; one way is to look for players who represent our clubs in the World Cup and add another few countries to the list of teams to support in the upcoming FIFA World Cup. This article will look at one club, Arsenal FC and the 9 players who are off to Russia.

Here are the players from Arsenal FC who will be playing in the FIFA World Cup 2018

COLOMBIA: David Ospina 

David Ospina is set to retain his position as the starting goalkeeper for Colombia despite his diminished playtime at Arsenal. Having helped his country reach the FIFA World Cup quarter-finals four years ago in Brazil, he has been named in the final 23-man squad. Jose Pekerman’s side will face Japan, Poland, and Senegal in Group H. Colombia is poised to finish on the top of the group. While they are bound to be tested defensively by Lewandowski’s Poland, they are the strongest team in the group.

SPAIN: Nacho Monreal 

Nacho Monreal has been named in Spain’s 23-man confirmed squad for the tournament in Russia, where they are in Group B and will face Portugal, Morocco, and Iran. The 32-year old is unlikely to play in this FIFA World Cup as he likely stands as a second/third choice left-back, Monreal will likely be looking on from the sidelines for the entirety of the tournament, barring an injury or suspension to starter Jordi Alba. Even though he had a terrific season for Arsenal, it is clearly not enough to guarantee him a start.

SWITZERLAND: Stephan Lichsteiner & Granit Xhaka

The latest addition in the Gunners squad, Lichsteiner is closing in on a century of caps for Switzerland, appearing at two European Championships and two World Cups. Switzerland will be fighting for second place in Group E. Costa Rica and Serbia will likely match them in quality, while all three will struggle against Brazil. With good performances, Switzerland could make the knockout stage, but they lack the squad quality to progress much further into the tournament. He is one of the key players in the squad and will start alongside his new teammate Granit Xhaka.

Granit Xhaka has been included in Switzerland’s 23-man confirmed squad, where they will face Brazil, Costa Rica, and Serbia in Group E. The 25-year old holds the no.10 shirt and will take up the role of an attack-minded playmaker in the Switzerland team as opposed to his deep-lying playmaker role at Arsenal. This lack of defensive responsibility allows the midfielder the freedom to flourish.

EGYPT: Mohamed Elneny 

Mohamed Elneny has been included in Egypt’s confirmed squad for their first FIFA World Cup in 28 years. Hector Cuper’s side will face Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay in Group A. Egypt should be battling with Russia for Second place in the group, behind Uruguay. They will expect to beat Saudi Arabia, with the match against Russia as a potential tie-breaker for the group. Elneny occupies the same role as he does at Arsenal, a possession-minded defensive midfielder who maintains the flow of the midfield game. Even though Elneny has not established himself in his club colors, it is a different story for his country altogether, as he is one of the most important players in the Egyptian squad.

GERMANY: Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil has been named in Germany’s confirmed squad and has a good record at major tournaments, scoring in World Cup and European Championship knockout rounds against Algeria and Italy respectively. Joachim Low’s reigning champions will face Mexico, South Korea, and Sweden in Group F. Özil is one of the mainstays in an immensely powerful German side who are the favorites to lift the cup, again.

NIGERIA: Alex Iwobi

Alex Iwobi has been included in Nigeria’s confirmed squad, hoping to follow in his uncle Jay-Jay Okocha’s footsteps by representing his country at a World Cup. The Super Eagles are in Group D and will face Argentina, Croatia, and Iceland and they will struggle to qualify. With matches against Argentina, Croatia, and the ever-plucky Iceland. Iwobi operates as a playmaking attacking midfielder for Nigeria, primarily deployed in the center of the pitch behind the striker. Nigeria plays to Iwobi’s strengths on the ball with significant success. Despite turbulent form with Arsenal this season, Iwobi’s performances in International matches are usually consistent and he displays signs of his potential.

ENGLAND: Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck has been named in England’s confirmed 23-man squad for this summer’s tournament. Gareth Southgate’s side is in Group G and will face Belgium, Panama, and Tunisia. England faces a relatively easy group in which the primary competition in Belgium. Theoretically, they should blow Tunisia and Panama away and be in competition for the top of the group but it is England we’re talking about. Welbeck is set to be a substitute for both the wing and striker for England. With Kane and Vardy ahead of him in the pecking order for the striking role, Welbeck will probably feature as a late-game substitute on the flank.

COSTA RICA: Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell has been included in Costa Rica’s confirmed 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup. The 25-year-old scored and assisted against Uruguay in Fortaleza four years ago and will face Brazil, Serbia, and Switzerland this time around. Costa Rica has a very low chance of reaching the knockouts as they will compete with Serbia and Switzerland, who are both the stronger teams on paper.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Chelsea Players going to Russia

Chelsea Cesar Azpilicueta N'Golo Kante Thibaut Courtois Eden Hazard

Despite the majority of Chelsea’s Spanish contingent missing out Chelsea FC has the joint second best representation in the FIFA World Cup 2018 for a Premier League club with fourteen players. Let’s have a look at all 14 players representing the ‘Blues’ at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Belgium: Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Michy Batshuayi (Loaned to Borussia Dortmund)

The Belgian Red Devils have three Blues’ in their contingent. Eden Hazard is Belgium’s most important player and Manager Roberto Martinez Would depend on the Chelsea man to create some magic in the Final Third. Thibaut Courtois is the first choice keeper for both Country and Club. Michy Batshuayi has been a revelation for Borussia Dortmund and very well could be Belgium’s dark horse.

England: Gary Cahil and Ruben Lotus-Cheek (Loaned to Crystal Palace) 

Gary Cahill and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are at opposite ends of the spectrum career-wise. Cahill is an experienced 32-year-old Centre-Back with 60 caps for England and Loftus-Cheek is a 22-year-old Midfielder with 4 caps for England. It’ll be interesting to see how Gareth Southgate utilizes the two players.

France: N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud

N’Golo Kante’s story has been a special one from playing in the Ligue 2 in 2015 to a two-time Premier League Champions and an assured starter for Club and Country. Despite France having a plethora of Strikers Olivier Giroud has been a regular starter for France.

Spain: Cesar Azpilicueta 

Centre-Back, Left-Back and a Right-Back, Chelsea’s Mr. Consistent is truly a versatile Defender and can play anywhere across the backline.

Nigeria: Kenneth Omerou ( Loaned to Kasımpaşa) and Victor Moses</strong

Kenneth Omerou hasn’t made a single appearance for the West London Club and considering the size of Chelsea’s loan Army, the Nigerian may have to wait for a few seasons, but he’s on the plane to Russia! Victor Moses has been a revelation at Right Wing-Back and will be a key player for Nigeria.

Brazil: Willian 

Willian has been consistently good for Chelsea even during their dismal 2015/16 campaign. The Brazilian has been lively on the wings and has earned a well-deserved call-up for Brazil.

Denmark: Andreas Christensen 

After his breakthrough Season at Chelsea Andreas Christensen is all set to turn some heads in Russia. He’s calm, composed and is very good on the ball, reminds me of a certain Chelsea Centre-Back, name starts with… JT, I don’t want to jinx it.

Argentina: Willy Caballero

The experienced Goalkeeper played a key role in Chelsea’s FA Cup Semi-Final keeping a clean sheet to put Chelsea in the Final. The Argentine is all set to become Argentina’s first choice Goalkeeper considering Sergio Romero has been ruled out.

Know Your Indian Stars – Sandesh Jhingan

Sandesh Jhingan

Hailing from Chandigarh, Sandesh Jhingan started training for professional football at St Stephens football academy as a 17-year-old and went on to excel and rise above the ranks. His solid performances earned him a call-up to the state team and thus he represented the u-19 Chandigarh team.  In 2011, he received a call-up to represent then second division I-league side United Sikkim where he excelled and played a major part in helping them reaching promotion into the I-league. The team weren’t able to cope with the league and got relegated the following season. Jhingan was seen as a bright young prospect and also received offers from Chinese leagues for a trial but wasn’t able to go as he was drafted into the Indian football team.  

Jhingan was first called up to the national side to 2013 but didn’t feature due to an injury he sustained during their preparatory camp. In 2014, he was drafted into the under 23 squads for the Asian games and didn’t have a good debut match where he gave away an own goal in 5-0 loss to UAE.

His rise to prominence started when he was signed by the Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League where he was not only judged the best emerging player but also received the silver medal as they lost the final. He never stopped growing since then, and the once emerging player was transformed into a versatile defender who was rock solid at the back. His defensive abilities are second to none in the current footballing scenario in the country and he deserves every bit of praise that he gets. 

He is an integral part of the National team with his leadership abilities at the back and also his ability to pop up with goals in crunch situations. His aerial prowess is unquestionable and his ability to read game situations is one worth mentioning. He captained the Kerala Blasters this year and also became the first player to notch up 50 games for club at the Indian Super League, he was on many occasions handed the captaincy of the Country as well in the absence of Sunil Chettri and looks like the one who would take over the reigns once the great man retires.  

Sandesh has truly grown into being one of the pillars on which Indian football continues to rise and with age and maturity, the only way is up for the towering defender.

Manchester City, Yaya Toure VS Pep Guardiola | Round 2

Manchester City Yaya Toure Pep Guardiola

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has taken it into his stride to prove Spanish manager Pep Guardiola wrong. The midfielder was sold by Pep whilst at Barcelona and they didn’t look settled at Manchester City either. Since Pep arrived at Manchester, the City legend has struggled to get game time and has been dropped at the expense of inexperienced midfielders.

But Yaya is fired up and ready to prove Pep wrong. His agent revealed that he has decided to run his contract down and move to another Top-6 club in England to show the Manchester City fans that he still has some football in him. He will be available as a free agent and has decided to play for €1 per week in England, even though he has received big money offers from clubs across the globe. He believes that Yaya will be a great addition to any team with his experience and skills at a time where the clubs are spending huge amounts of money on players.

Yaya has accused Pep of discrimination and says he wouldn’t have done the same with someone like an Iniesta and that it has led him to a point where he starts to think if it’s because of his color. He believes that playing in England would not only prove his worth but will also “destroy the Pep myth”. His agent even made an audacious claim that the “The African Curse” will prevent Pep from winning the Champions League with Manchester City.

This shocking new development might prove to be a thorn in city’s title defence. This would be very beneficial for their rivals. If he signs for any of the top six, he would prove to be a game changer, especially for arch-rivals Manchester United, as he has in the past revealed his desire to play alongside the likes of French International, Paul Pogba and what a boost this would be for their city rivals. His war with Guardiola might actually be his ticket to make his dream team, a reality.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Atletico Madrid Players going to Russia

Atletico Madrid Diego Godin Antoine Griezmann Diego Costa Koke

The Los rojiblancos, Atletico Madrid has had a bit of an up and down Season, eliminated in the Group stage of the Champions League, Transfer Ban and Griezmann constantly linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano. But Diego Simeone’s men came back stronger and finished the Season as Europa League Champions and now have 9 players heading to Russia.

Spain: Saul Niguez, Koke, and Diego Costa

Diego Costa despite having a turbulent start, going AWOL at Chelsea and finally Signing for Atletico in January. The Striker will be key for Spain’s chances. The Midfield duo of Koke and Saul have been consistent for Atletico and would be welcome additions to Spain’s already competent Midfield.

France: Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Hernandez

Antoine Griezmann in the France Squad is a no-brainer, The Atletico Target man is Didier Deschamps best player and will be absolutely crucial to France’s chances. Lucas Hernandez has had a breakout season at Atletico and definitely could be a dark horse for the Les Blues.

Uruguay: Diego Godin and Jose Maria Giminez
 

The Centre-back pairing played week in and week out for Atletico and will expectedly do the same for the National side. 

Brazil: Filipe Luiz

The Atletico Left-Back is probably the unluckiest player on the list, competing against Marcelo, arguably the best left-back in the world for a spot in the starting XI. Gotta feel for the guy.

Croatia: Sime Vrsaljko
 

Vrsaljiko Would be critical on the right flank for Croatia, he’ll have to bring all his experience to the fore at the World Cup.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Average age of squads in Group A and B

Average age Achraf Hakimi Essam El-Hadary

What do you need to win a FIFA World Cup, experience, youth or a little bit of both? Find out the Average age of Squads in Group A and Group B for The FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia! 

Group A

Egypt

Oldest player: Essam El-Hadary

Age: 45 years old, 

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Al Taawoun

Youngest Player:  Ramadhan Sobhi

Age: 21 years old

Position: Midfielder

Club: Stoke City

Average age: 27.0

Russia

Oldest Player: Sergei Ignashevich

Age: 38 years old

Position:  Defender

Club: CSKA Moscow

Youngest Player: Fyodor Chalav

Age: 20 years old

Position: Forward

Club: CSKA Moscow

Average age: 28.1

Saudi Arabia

Oldest player:  Yasser Al Mosailem

Age: 34 years old

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Al-Ahli

Youngest Player: Abdullah Al-Khaibari

Age: 21 years old 

PositionMidfielder

Club: Al-Shabab

Average age: 28.7

Uruguay

Oldest Player: Maxi Pereira

Age: 34 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Porto

Youngest Player:  Frederico Valverde

Age: 19 years old

Position: Midfield

Club: Deportivo La Coruna

Average age: 28.7

Group B

Iran

Oldest Player:  Masoud Shojaei

Age: 34 years old

Position: Midfielder

Club: AEK Athens

Youngest player: Saeid Ezatolahi

Age: 21 years old

PositionMidfielder

Club: Amkar Perm

Average 26.5

Morocco

Oldest player:  M’bark Boussoufa

Age: 33 years old 

Position: Midfielder

Club: Al-Jazeera

Youngest player:  Achraf Hakimi

Age: 19 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Real Madrid

Average age: 27.2

Portugal 

Oldest player:  Beto

Age: 36 years old

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Goztepe

Youngest player:  Ruben Diaz

Age: 21 years old

Position: Defender

Club: Benfica

Average: 27.7

Spain

Oldest player: Pepe Reina

Age: 35 years old

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Napoli

Youngest player: Alvaro Odriozola

Age: 22 years old

Position: Defender 

Real Sociedad 

Average age: 28.0