With the FIFA World Cup only 2 weeks away, let’s take a look at the best players from every team that is competing in the tournament.
Argentina – Lionel Messi
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.
Australia – Tim Cahill
The evergreen Australian forward is seemingly getting better with age, having scored 11 goals on the road to the World Cup 2018, including a number of his signature headers. Scorer of one of the most spectacular goals of Brazil 2014, Cahill could be one of the few players to score at four World Cups.
Belgium – Eden Hazard
Pacy, skillful and a master of both creating and scoring goals, Hazard is one of the most exciting attackers in world football. The Chelsea star served up 6 goals and 5 assists during Belgium’s impressive qualifying campaign.
Brazil – Neymar
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.
Colombia – James Rodriguez
Rodriguez, the Golden Boot winner at the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 is set to provide more goals for Colombia at Russia 2018. Currently, on loan at Bayern Munich, the Cafeteros midfielder won two FIFA Club World Cup titles with Real Madrid.
Costa Rica – Bryan Ruiz
In Costa Rica’s run to the quarter-finals at the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, a midfielder who can also play as a second striker, Ruiz emerged as a key player o the country. Scoring 3 goals in qualifying for Russia 2018, the Ticos captain is all set to perform even better this time.
Croatia – Luka Modric
“One of the best midfielders ever“, Andriy Shevchenko described Modric. Modric is certainly among the world’s finest midfielders right now. Croatia will be relying on this FIFA/FIFPro World XI member and three-time UEFA Champions League winner to perform his best at Russia 2018.
Denmark – Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen is Denmark’s playoff hero who was in an inspiring form throughout his team’s qualifying campaign. He scored 11 goals in Europe’s Russia 2018 preliminaries. which was surpassed only by Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo hence showing that he could be the one to pull the team to a good position.
Egypt – Mohamed Salah
Egypt’s talisman who scored 71% of the team’s goals in Russia 2018 qualifying rounds is none other than Mohamed Salah. This speedy Liverpool star is undoubtedly very keen on playing equally well for his country as well as he scored in every one of their third-round victories.
England – Harry Kane
Kane is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading strikers through his performance at his club and his country. The prolific Tottenham Hotspur star scored 5 times in six appearances for England during Russia 2018 qualifying rounds. Lauded as a “complete player” by Zinedine Zidane, this striker could lead the country to a great position.
France – Antoine Griezmann
Top scorer and player of the tournament at UEFA EURO 2016, Griezmann will be out to make his mark on another major competition. France forward provided 4 goals and 4 assists for Les Bleus in the Russia 2018 qualifiers.
Germany – Toni Kroos
Kroos has won the UEFA Champions League with both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Kroos was also a key component in the team that secured Germany’s fourth world title in 2014 showing that he is one of the finest midfielders of his generation.
Iceland – Gylfi Sigurdsson
Iceland’s footballer of the year for the last five years running, Sigurdsson is a talismanic midfield playmaker for his country. Sigurdsson netted 4 goals and as many assists in the team’s Russia 2018 qualifying campaign.
Iran – Sardar Azmoun
Attacker Sardar Azmoun has enjoyed prolific form for his country since bursting on to the scene at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and has been expected as an heir to the Iran goalscoring icon Ali Daei. The prolific forward Azmoun plays for Russian side Rubin Kazan.
Japan – Maya Yoshida
Yoshida, a cultured and stylish centre-back, has been one of the key figures in Japan’s team over two FIFA World Cup campaigns. The Southampton-based Yoshida is a handy asset at set-pieces as he was the Captain of Japan’s 2012 Olympic Games team and has also shared a fair amount of goals for his country.
Korea Republic – Ki Sung-Yueng
Korea Republic captain Ki has arguably become the nation’s most recognizable footballer. A technically gifted midfielder is blessed in all aspects of the game and is now heading for his third FIFA World Cup. The Swansea City player has now spent six seasons in the English Premier League.
Mexico – Javier Hernandez
Nicknamed ‘Chicharito’, the attacker Hernandez won the FIFA Club World Cup title with Real Madrid in 2014. Hernandez appeared at South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014, scoring 3 times during those two global finals and established himself as Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Nigeria – Jon Obi Mikel
Nigeria’s captain Mikel’s experience, strength, and composure will be vital to the Super Eagles in Russia. A UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea, Mikel remains the country’s key man in central midfield.
Panama – Blas Perez
With over a 100 appearances for Panama, Perez offers valuable experience to the Central American side of the world cup qualifiers. Scoring 11 goals over that period, the attacker has appeared in four World Cup qualifying campaigns.
Peru – Jefferson Farfan
The experienced 33-year-old forward contributed vital goals, most notably in the win over Paraguay and the playoff victory over New Zealand proving himself to be an important asset to the Peruvian team during Russia 2018 qualifying. Farfan is now looking forward to his first World Cup.
Poland – Robert Lewandowski
The Polish captain, Lewandowski was the top scorer in Europe’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers with 16 goals in 10 appearances. Lewandowski is regarded as “the best striker in the world” by coach Adam Nawalka, as he became his country’s all-time leading scorer during the preliminary campaign.
Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers in the history. Being named The Best FIFA Men’s Player for the last two years running, he is the all-time leading scorer for both Portugal and Real Madrid. Everyone is eyeing this man for his next wonder at Russia 2018.
Russia – Igor Akinfeev
Akinfeev has over 100 appearances for his country. He is also the national team’s captain and will be an influential figure as they attempt to impress on home soil. A six-time Russian title winner is ready to lead the home country to greater glory.
Saudi Arabia – Mohammad Al-Sahlawi
Saudi Arabia’s dynamic forward enjoyed the rare distinction of finishing joint-top goalscorer alongside Poland’s Lewandowski. Fast feet and a rare turn of pace make Al-Sahlawi a genuine star in Saudi football, following his breakthrough campaign for Russia 2018.
Senegal – Sadio Mane
Being one of the leading players in the continent, Mane‘s strength, speed, and skill make him a major asset to his country Senegal. He became the most expensive African player in history when he moved to Liverpool for £34 million in 2016 and this forward is out to play great for his country as well.
Serbia – Branislav Ivanovic
Ivanovic recently reached a century of matches for his national team Serbia. Having won the UEFA Champions League and three English Premier League titles with his old club, Chelsea, he now plays his club football in Russia for Zenit St Petersburg. Serbia’s captain since 2012, he is a key player for his country.
Spain – Sergio Ramos
Nearing Iker Casillas’ all-time record of 167 caps, Ramos is Spain’s second-most capped player. The captain of La Roja, Ramos was a key player in the teams that won two European Championships and one World Cup. This Real Madrid player is all set to show his skill sets that made him win 4 UEFA Champions League title. Even though he is criticized for a rather rough style of play, the 32-year old defender is undoubtedly an impact player.
Sweden – Marcus Berg
Berg has provided power, panache and plenty of goals for Sweden. Thriving in the spotlight following the retirement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, The Al Ain striker scored eight times during the Russia 2018 qualifiers.
Switzerland – Granit Xhaka
Xhaka is a key man representing the country. Switzerland’s player of the year for 2017 and the Arsenal midfielder impressed the world at Brazil 2014. He is now out to make his mark on another World Cup in Russia.
Tunisia – Wabhi Khazri
The attacking midfielder has enjoyed the best season of his career so far during 2017/18 with French Ligue 1 side Rennes and was a key factor in Tunisia’s return to the world stage. His most notable contributions during FIFA World Cup qualifying saw Khazri score an important goal against Mauritania in Round 2, as well as the winner against Libya in November 2016.
Uruguay – Luis Suarez
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.