While everyone will be watching Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar at the World Cup in Russia. What about the ones that are not as popular? Listed below are five players that could burst onto the scene during this summer’s World Cup.
Ayoub El Kaabi – Morocco
The 24-year-old forward has never played outside of his home country at the club level and recently became the subject of an eight-figure bid. Nevertheless, El Kaabi just scores goals. He has managed 47 club goals over the last two seasons. Twenty-five for Racing AC and 22 for RS Berkane. All of this following an impressive 11 goals in just 10 international matches with Morocco.
El Kaabi led Morocco to their first African Nations Championship earlier in the year as the tournament’s leading goalscorer and top player. Following the successful display, the forward was reportedly gaining interest from Atletico Madrid. Although a move has yet to materialize, another solid tournament could mean a move away for Morocco for the striker.
Lucas Torreira – Uruguay
Arsenal fans are most likely beginning to learn about Torreira as of late. After all, the north London outfit, along with Napoli and Borussia Dortmund, are reportedly keen to sign the 22-year-old defensive midfielder this summer. Torreira’s game is all about relentless energy. He’s obviously not going to score a ton of goals, but he will record plenty of tackles and interceptions from the middle of the pitch.
Playing in Serie A for Sampdoria, Torreira compiled an impressive stat sheet during the 2017/18 campaign. He ranked inside the top five amongst Serie A CM/DMs in tackles, interceptions, accurate short passes, and accurate long key passes.
Forwards Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez headline a potent Uruguay team, but Torreira could be the standout in midfield for the South American team.
Aleksandr Golovin – Russia
Golovin is probably the most talented young player in Russia at the moment. Despite the fact that he has gained the attention of a few big European clubs, the 22-year-old midfielder is still relatively unknown to many casual fans. Golovin’s statistics don’t exactly jump off of the page, but he is still a very technical attacking player.