Ultimately, the most important details of a player’s professional career will be filled in by their performance with their club teams. After all, that’s where an individual will play the vast majority of their contests, and where they will earn the most money based on their contributions.
However, a player’s profile can be bolstered significantly by their production in a major tournament, and there is no spectacle larger in sports across the globe than the World Cup.
Masterful tactics and memorable plays can elevate talented players from star to immortal status if they can deliver on the grandest stage. Their home countries will worship them forever, and any opponents they defeat along the way will mutter their names under their breath for decades to come.
In this article, we will take a look at three stars who could impress in Qatar this Winter:
Unlike the United States women’s soccer team, who are universally loved and applauded across the country, the United States men’s soccer team has been a bit of a running joke for a long time. American players have had the opportunity to play for popular club teams in Europe and across the world, but that individual talent doesn’t ever seem to translate on the international tournament forum.
Until the United States makes a serious run in a World Cup, Major League Soccer and other U.S. located competition will continue to be viewed as second tier.
However, there’s one player on the American squad who has a chance to change that perception. A 24-year-old striker, Christian Pulisic, has been the apple of U.S. fans’ eyes for several years, as he’s played for Premier League club Chelsea for the last few years. His statistics won’t blow anyone away, as he’s scored 20 goals in 87 appearances in a highly competitive setting.
Pulisic still has the ability to go on a run for a month-long stretch. If he’s able to star in Qatar, it’ll satisfy a huge craving for United States soccer fans. This places Pulisic among the players who could go from good to legendary in November and December, as you can observe at https://www.bovada.lv/sports/soccer.
He’s a well-known commodity to loyal soccer fans. Premier League followers and world soccer enthusiasts know how good Son Heung-Min is. He’s been at or near the top of the Golden Boot leaderboard in that league for the last few years, and was tied for the most goals last year with Mohamed Salah. Other teams know that they have to be extremely wary of the Tottenham scorer whenever they take the pitch, as his ability to strike is as potent as anyone.
With that being said, Son has a tremendous opportunity to cement his legacy as one of the greatest players ever. South Korea comes into the World Cup as afterthoughts in many years, and there are not a lot of people who think they can make a deep run this year. They find themselves in Group H, where they’ll have to face the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal, as well as Luis Suarez and Uruguay.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility though that the Koreans and Son could surprise folks in group play. Ronaldo and Suarez are household names, but Son finds himself in the prime of his career, and could outshine the two veterans this time around.
Although England made it to the finals of the European Championships, manager Gareth Southgate had to deal with a ton of criticism for his handling of the squad. Fans in the UK, like many other passionate nations, know their teams inside and out, and have very strong opinions about which players should be seeing the pitch when the game is in the balance.
One such fan favourite at the Euros was Jack Grealish, who is a popular midfielder for Manchester City. The English team is largely comprised of tried and tested veterans who have been through the wars of many high-profile games. There’s an appetite for Southgate to be more open to playing some of his younger, more dynamic players, of which Grealish is one.
Even if the Manchester City player doesn’t start games, Southgate will have little excuse not to utilise Grealish during this tournament. This will be the first World Cup where five substitutions are permitted in each match, up from the three changes that were allowed historically. He should see ample time on the pitch one way or another.
While the first two players on this list are larger threats to convert goals, Grealish’s play might best be valued creating chances for his teammates. He’s a well-rounded player who has the ability to break down a defense, which should help relieve attention on Harry Kane.
Originally from Malta and I love football. I appreciate the opportunity that this website gave me to start my career in football journalism. I’m a Man Utd fan and England supporter, and I watch football games mainly from England, Germany and Spain. I love to be informed about everything that is happening in the world of football.