Lionel Messi: Argentina’s favourite son and one of top rated football players of this generation, Lionel Messi would finally like to get his hands on the prestigious trophy. Lionel Messi has been a legend and a match winner for Spanish club FC Barcelona but sometimes receives flak for underperforming for his national team. Lionel Messi has often been compared to the great Diego Maradona but the only thing left on Lionel Messi's resume is to lift the FIFA World Cup. Messi's is still at the top of his game but this could also mean his last shot at FIFA World Cup glory
Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal star doesn’t need any introduction and is fresh from winning yet another Champions League title for Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo is a footballer, which polarises opinion and is a player who relies on timing and sheer brilliance. Like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo often receives criticism for not being a top player for Portugal, but in recent times Ronaldo has been trying to change his image and play more as a team player. Cristiano Ronaldo is at his peak and will look to bag the FIFA World Cup having already being a Euro winner. The Portugal footballer is definitely one to watch out for FIFA World Cup 2018
Neymar: FIFA World Cup’s most successful team - Brazil - had a nightmarish and disappointing FIFA World Cup 2014 in their own home. Brazil always had a rich legacy of playing their own brand of football and producing champion players. The 26-year-old Brazil football player Neymar is currently the highest paid footballer in the world when he moved to Paris Saint-Germain from FC Barcelona for a record fee of 222 million pounds. Neymar no doubt is a football player, who has immense talent but is yet to show his entire range. Neymar has played with Lionel Messi and lot will depend on Neymar to take Brazil forward in FIFA World Cup 2018 and all the money and wealth counts for nothing if you can’t win big matches and tournaments. Neymar has scored 53 goals in 83 matches for Brazil
Mohamed Salah: Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is currently going through a purple patch and is a name which is generating quite a lot of interest. Mohamed Salah has been in fine form during the current EPL for Liverpool and in such a short period of time is making quite an impact. Egypt might not be a team like Brazil, Germany or Spain but in Salah, they have got someone, who can give them hope and confidence. Mohamed Salah is a quick learner and now that he has made it to Russia, Egypt’s fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that Salah plays with full force and makes Egypt shine on the world stage
Paul Pogba: Paul Pogba is a French professional footballer who plays for Premier League club Manchester United and the French national team. Pogba operates primarily as a central midfielder, but can also be deployed as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and deep-lying playmaker. Paul Pogba is a player, who is quick, powerful and relies on athleticism. France national team had its ups and downs in recent times and would need a catalyst like Paul Pogba to win them some matches.
Luis Suarez: Every football team needs a character and you can’t have all the players behaving the same way. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez is a temperamental, mercurial and highly controversial football player, who plays by his own rules. But, Luis Suarez is a player, who gets the job done and is a very reliable player. Luis Suarez may not be a big name like Ronaldo or Messi, but we also have to understand he plays for a team like Uruguay, which doesn’t consist of big names. Luis Suarez has been a match winner for various sides he has played for (16 trophies in his career) and come FIFA World Cup 2018, Suarez will once again wear his heart on the sleeve
Harry Kane: Home of English Premier League i.e. England is a team which last won the FIFA World Cup in 1966 again enters the tournament as underdogs. There is some cruel luck involved as England year after year fails to perform and lose out on big matches. England captain Harry Kane has a lot on his plate and if England wants to compete then Tottenham Hotspur striker has to lead by example and prove their critics wrong. Harry Kane is an attacking player and so far has scored 13 goals in 24 matches for England. Harry Kane is only 24 years of age and might turn out to be the surprise package of FIFA World Cup 2018
Colombia’s best player and currently one the most highly sought-after football players James Rodriguez is definitely one of the players to watch out for. James Rodriguez came into the limelight during the FIFA World Cup 2014, when he won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top-scorer and was named in the World Cup All Star XI and was also listed in the Cup's star XI by Castrol's index rating system in FIFA's website. Argentina legend Diego Maradona argued that James, rather than Lionel Messi, that should have won the tournament's Golden Ball award. James Rodriguez is a fearless player and if Colombia has to upset the odds then Rodriguez will have to replicate his 2014 performance
Mesut Ozil: Defending champions Germany again enter the competition as favourites amid pressure and expectations. German football team is known for their planning, attention to detail and doing the basics right. Germany’s star player Mesut Ozil was the top-scorer in the FIFA 2014 World Cup for the team and made his mark. Mesut Ozil is not your typical football player, but flies under the radar and knows his limitations quite well
Sergio Aguero: Argentina football player Sergio Aguero would be hoping to make a mark during this year’s FIFA World Cup 2018. Sergio Aguero plays as an all-out centre-forward, who is quite adept at changing positions according to the situation. Sergio Aguero will have to help out Lionel Messi and also play his natural game
It’s that time of the year again and football crazy friends will witness yet another marquee football world cup in Russia from June 14, 2018. FIFA World Cup has always been the benchmark when it comes to producing and providing top quality football and this year will be no different as well. Football is a sport, which unites many countries and many players cutting across religion and caste and in the end, football brings smiles to people’s faces and that’s why they call it a beautiful game. Germany won the coveted FIFA World Cup in 2014 and are looking strong for yet another trophy. Which players will make their mark in this year’s FIFA World Cup.
Let’s have a look at top 10 players likely to make a mark in FIFA World Cup 2018. (Pics/ AFP)