FIFA World Cup 2018: From Germany to Kylian Mbappe - a look at the hits and flops!
Let's look at players who were the star for their teams and players who failed to deliver at FIFA World Cup 2018
FIFA World Cup 2018 is coming to an end and we will have France taking on Croatia in the finals on July 15, 2018. This tournament has seen many ups and downs, but the quality of the event has been top-notch and as usual, we have had hits and misses in this World Cup.
Let's check out 5 players who made their mark in the tournament:
1. Harry Kane:
England captain Harry Kane has had a wonderful tournament and one of the reasons for England reaching semi-finals is purely down to Harry Kane's superlative effort. The skipper of the English team scored six goals (most by any player currently) and is leading the Golden Boot category. The only disappointment for Kane would be the elimination by Croatia in the semi-finals.
Harry Kane led from the front and proved that if you follow the process right, the results will take care of themselves. England had a magnificent tournament and Kane's energy and performance played a huge role in it.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo:
Portugal's favourite son and global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal didn't have the best of tournaments, but the striker had quite a memorable one. Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals and at one point it was looking like he was fighting a lone battle for his side. Portugal had a mixed tournament, but Cristiano Ronaldo showed his class and proved his critics wrong that he only performs for his club.
3. Romelu Lukaku:
Many football fans might not have expected Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku's name on this list, but the big and strong Lukaku has been a pleasant surprise in this tournament. One of the reasons for Belgium reaching the semi-finals is mainly down to Romelu Lukaku's performance. Romelu Lukaku has scored four goals so far and the performances have only got better as the tournament has progressed.
4. Kylian Mbappe:
France's 19-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe has been the emerging star of the tournament and at such a young age he has been compared with the greats of the game. Kylian Mbappe's biggest impact was against Argentina and so far the young superstar has netted three goals. As France ready to take on Croatia in the finals, Mbappe will have to do the hard yards and whatever be the result in the FIFA World Cup final, the game of football has got a new star.
5. Hugo Lloris:
In FIFA World Cups, invariably all the focus is on strikers and marquee players and often goalkeepers get a raw deal. France have reached the finals after a gap of 12 years and a lot of credit goes to Hugo Lloris. France in their journey towards finals have only conceded three goals (all against Argentina). The goalkeeper like wicket-keeper in cricket sets the tone for the match and Lloris has done his job calmly. Hugo Lloris' big test will be against Croatia, but going by the current form, Lloris will be relishing the challenge and be quite confident.
Now, Let's look at 5 players who disappointed
1. Mesut Ozil:
Defending champions Germany had a shambolic tournament and couldn't even progress to the second round. The German team contained a lot of big names, but couldn't quite gel on the field as a unit. Mesut Ozil had a shocker of a tournament and was in the news for his off-field antics rather than his on-field performance. Ozil like the rest of the German players failed to deliver and would be hoping that this tournament is just a blip on his career.
2. James Rodriguez:
Colombia's star player James Rodriguez, who had a wonderful tournament at 2014 World Cup with being the leading goalscorer, had a mediocre and average FIFA 2018 by his lofty standards. Colombia reached the round of 16 but ran out of steam (loss vs England) and Rodriguez's off-colour performance played a big part in it.
3. Angel Di Maria:
Argentina, the runners-up of the FIFA World Cup 2014 never quite found their true rhythm and from the outside, looked like a confused unit. Whenever Argentina loses, Lionel Messi receives a lot of flak but we have to remember that it is a team game and everything cannot rest on the shoulders of just one player - even if it is Messi. Argentina's Angel Di Maria really struggled through the tournament and couldn't quite replicate his form for his country. Di Maria failed to perform and as a senior player and has sort of let the team down.
4. Robert Lewandowski:
Poland captain Robert Lewandowski is a big name, when it comes to football and lot was expected from him during FIFA World Cup 2018. Poland had a shocker of a tournament and were knocked out in the group stage itself. Robert Lewandowski had a quiet competition and couldn't quite replicate his club form for his country. Lewandowski will be hurting and knowing him, he would like to prove a point next time around, if he can.
5. David de Gea:
Another team who failed to make a mark were 2010 champions Spain and were knocked out by hosts Russia in the round of 16. Spain as a team is very methodical and like Germany follow a set pattern and rules. Spain, who pride themselves on cutting down opponent's goals, had a poor tournament. David de Gea struggled through the tournament and his goalkeeping left a lot to be questioned. David de Gea ended the tournament conceding six goals (excluding penalty shootout vs Russia) and Spain's failings, in a way, could be attributed to Gea's poor form.
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