With the World Cup less than a week, the countdown continues for the biggest sporting event on the planet. But before the start of the journey to the biggest glory, let’s break down the players you, the soccer fans, should be keeping an eye on.
Common spectators and football fans may know almost everything that needs to be known about Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Both of them have earned every single Ballon d’Or Award since 2008, but have never been able to win a World Cup title.
Who are the ten most notable players to watch in the World Cup 2018 leaving Messi and Ronaldo? Without wasting much time, here is the list of top names to remember this summer.
Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
Nicknamed as The Prince by his teammates from the Manchester City, he'll be considered Belgian royalty by his Red Devil supporters if he manages to win the World Cup title.
Best known for his technique, wide range of pa s sing, and long-range shooting skills, he is ranked among the best players in Europe by media, coaches, and colleagues.
The Belgian midfielder was ranked the fourth-best player in the world by The Guardian in 2017 and has often been described as a complete footballer.
De Bruyne said in a March interview with the Mirror, "This is the best team in the history of Belgium. There are several players over 30. This is the time to profit. Only by wanting the first prize can you win the first prize."
He made his full international debut in 2010 and has earned 50 caps for Belgium. He plays as a midfielder for English club Manchester City and the Belgian national team. He was part of the Belgian squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.
Edison Cavani, Uruguay
He plays as a striker for French professional club PSG and the Uruguayan national team and has been described as a modern striker.
He is a quick, strong, opportunistic, and prolific forward with good technique best known for his ability to score impressive goals, both in the air and with his feet.
Cavani, who was the victim of some unnecessary Neymar-filled drama this season at PSG, might be one of the most underrated strikers on the planet.
He has shown his participation in six major international tournaments: the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2011 Copa América, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Copa América and the Copa América Centenario.
The long-haired, headband-wearing forward is one of the valuable members to the Uruguayan squad. He has scored 42 international goals and earned 100 caps for Uruguay.
Luis Suarez, Uruguay
He is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for the Uruguayan national team and Spanish club Barcelona.
Suarez has won 16 trophies in his career, including five league titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and a Copa América. He is often regarded as one of the best players in the world.
He has won two European Golden Shoes, an Eredivisie Golden Boot, and a Premier League Golden Boot. He scored his 300th senior career goal for club and country in October 2015 and notched his 400th goal in December 2017.
Suárez starred in an attacking trio alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar in his first season at Barcelona, helping the club win a historic second continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League.
Thomas Muller, Germany
He is a versatile player who plays as a midfielder or forward and has been deployed in various attacking roles; as an attacking midfielder, second striker, center forward, an on either wing.
He is best known for his positioning, teamwork and stamina, work-rate, and has shown consistency in both scoring and creating goals.
He scored five goals in six appearances at the 2010 World Cup and was named the Best Young Player of the tournament. Also, he won Golden Boot as the top scorer of the tournament with five goals and three a s sists.
David de Gea, Spain
Started his career at an early age of 13 with Atletico Madrid, he has made over 300 appearances with United and won a Premier League title, an FA Cup, a League Cup, three Community Shields and the UEFA Europa League.
He was the captain for the Spain U-21 national team that won the European Championship in 2011 and 2013. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the sporting history, not just because he's a brick wall between the goal posts, but because of his all-around skills.
He notched seven clean sheets and only conceded three goals (against Italy, Israel, and Macedonia) in 10 matches during Spain’s European qualifying campaign.
Paul Pogba, France
Paul Pogba, a French professional plays for the French national team and Premier League club Manchester United. He primarily plays as a central midfielder, but can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and deep-lying playmaker.
He established himself as one of the promising players in the world during his time in Italy and won the Golden Boy award in 2013, followed by the Bravo Award in 2014.
He captained the French U-20 team leading the team to successful victory at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He also earned the Best Player award for his performances during the tournament.
He made his senior debut for the France national squad on March 22, 2013, in a 3-1 victory against Georgia and score his first World Cup goal in a game against Nigeria on June 30, 2014. He earned the Best Young Player Award for his performances at the 2014 World Cup.
Antoine Griezmann, France
He started his senior career as a member of the Spanish club, Real Sociedad in 2009 and currently plays as a forward for La Liga club Atletico Madrid and the French national squad.
He earned his first cap for the senior national team in the 2014 World Cup and featured heavily at the tournament, helping his team reach the quarterfinals.
He was the Best Player of the tournament at UEFA Euro 2016 and was the top scorer of the tournament with 6 goals.
Griezmann is best known for his work-rate, attacking movement, positional sense, and ability to interpret the game, which, combined with his pace, mobility, and energy that enables him to make effective attacking runs to beat the defensive line.
Neymar has scored 54 goals in 84 matches since his debut at 18, becoming the fourth-highest scorer for his national team.
He is best known for his dribbling, finishing, and ability with both feet and has earned comparisons to former Brazil and Santos forward Pele. He was a key player in Brazil’s successful victory at the 2011 South American Youth Championship, finishing as the leading scorer.
He won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Harry Kane, England
He is an English professional who plays as a striker for the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur and is the captain of the English national team.
He has been named Premier League Player of the Month six times and was selected for the PFA Team of the Year in each of the last four seasons.
Kane has scored over 100 goals for Tottenham and is currently in the tenth position in the team’s all-time top scorer list and has risen into stardom as one of the most prolific goal scorers on the planet.
Don't let the "traditional center forward" critiques fool you, Kane is a great poacher but he can find the back of the net from a long distance too.
Mohamed Salah, Egypt
All eyes are on the Egyptian Pharaoh, as he returns to fitness racing against the clock after suffering a nasty shoulder injury that ended his Champions League campaign in heartbreak loss for Liverpool.
Salah suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Champions League final that could leave him out of at least the first group stage match for Egypt.
The 25-year-old Egyptian professional plays as a forward for English club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team.
Thanks to Salah’s efforts, as the Egyptian national squad, booked their place to Russia after a 28 years long hiatus.