If you love soccer then the World Cup is something you look forward to all the time.
We find ourselves watching the World Cup and then the morning after the final starting to look forward to the next one. You can find the best soccer odds for the 2022 competition here.
Many people love the competition so much because it is the only time when soccer fans get to see the world’s best players playing in the same competition. Soccer is so widely spread across the globe that the best rarely play each other.
Today, we are going to look at some of the players who could make the biggest difference in this year’s competition.
Honorable mentions: Messi, Neymar, Lewandowski, Muller, and Luka Modrić.
#5 – Gareth Bale
If you follow soccer news at all, then you will be more than aware of who Bale is. After 9 years in Madrid, he has moved to LA and is already making waves.
This is most likely going to be Bale’s last World Cup, as well as being his first one. Many will see his achievement of getting Wales to the World Cup. Especially when the country has a population of fewer than 3 million people and soccer isn’t even the national sport.
However, Bale has high ambitions for his team.
Wales was able to make it to the Quarter Finals of the 2016 Euros and was knocked out by a very good Portugal who went on to win the tournament. This achievement earned Bale and his teammates a bus-top celebration when they got back.
While they didn’t have the same kind of success in the 2020 Euros, they still performed well in a hard group.
The competition was held across Europe – England played all their group games at home whereas Wales had to travel over 5,382 miles during the group stages. Many felt like this was unfair. Switzerland had to travel over 7522 miles too during the tournament.
Bale is an incredible talent who has the rare ability to create changes and goals out of nothing.
#4 – Christian Pulisic
Pulisic, also known as Captain America by the fans, plays as an attacking midfielder and winger for Chelsea and Team USA.
Pulisic is the youngest player to ever captain the American national side. He played a key role in their winning 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign – he even scored the winning goal in the final that gave them a 3-2 victory over Mexico.
Since debuting for America in 2016 he has scored 51 international goals.
#3 – Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min is one of the biggest names in East Asian soccer. His seven years playing for Tottenham Hot Spurs has led to a huge uptake in soccer viewership in South Korea and other parts of East Asia.
This will be Son Heung-min’s third World Cup and his appearance in the competition will make him the most prolific player for the national side.
Despite being 30, Son Heung-min is still at the top of his game.
This season he jointly won the Golden Boot in the English Premier League (shared with Mo Salah) after scoring 23 goals across the season. He was the first Asian player ever to win this award.
#2 – Kylian Mbappe
23 year old Kylian Mbappe has already done in his short career what many players can only dream of doing in a lifetime.
Mbappe is already a World Cup winner and in that 2018 victory, he even scored in the Final. This made him the second teenager to ever score in a World Cup Final – Pele being the first.
Mbappe plays for Paris Saint-Germain, where he has scored 106 goals in 115 appearances. What makes that even more impressive is he shares the pitch with both Neymar and Messi and has still managed to rack up that many goals.
#1 – Cristiano Ronaldo
We didn’t want to put too many obvious players on this list, but this will be Ronaldo’s last World Cup and this is the only trophy he has left to win.
There is no denying that Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players of all time. But, he has not had a huge amount of international success. It wasn’t until 2016 that Portugal won their first Euros with CR.
In the 2018 World Cup, they were knocked out in the first round of the Last 16 by Uruguay – to everyone’s surprise. During this tournament, he became the highest international goal scorer Europe has ever seen.
In the delayed Euro 2020, Portugal was knocked out by Belgium in the first round of the Last 16. Despite being knocked out this early, he was still the highest scorer in this tournament.
Neither Messi nor Ronaldo has won a World Cup and it looks like this will be both players’ last big tournament. Ronaldo is 37 and Messi is 35 – so, expect to see intense performances from both men.
Portugal has a fairly tough group – Uruguay, South Korea, and Ghana – but they are expected to top this group.