Messi, Neymar, Mbappe & Kane: The 4 Superstars Who Will Be Looking To Lead Their Country To World Cup Glory In Qatar
Although all of world football’s elite might be desperate to write their names in the history books this year, it will be the individual superstars who really take center stage in Qatar.
With only a matter of days until things get underway on November 20th when Qatar meet Ecuador, football’s most iconic stars will know that they have plenty of pressure on their shoulders.
On a list that includes three PSG icons and the defending World Cup Golden Boot winner, we have taken a glance at four superstars who will be looking to spearhead their country’s charge for glory.
Neymar – Brazil
Breezing their way to Qatar and laying down what has been an extended marker over the past three years, Brazil open their World Cup adventure enjoying a remarkable purple patch under Tite.
Unbeaten in each of their previous 36 appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to July 2019 – the South American giants are tipped by many as a standout contender this winter.
Opening the World Cup’s maiden festive tournament priced at 4/1 with Unibet to claim a sixth world crown this year, Neymar will know that he has plenty of expectations on his shoulders.
Finally appearing to have found his feet in Paris and with some even believing that the former Barcelona star is playing at a Ballon d’Or level, Neymar has already racked up 19 goals across all formats so far this season.
Looking to cement his place in Brazilian folk law this winter, the 30-year-old superstar is also just three strikes away from surpassing Pele as Brazil’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
While Brazil might open this year’s World Cup tipped as a marginal favourite, it is another South American icon who have their sights set on making real history in the Middle East.
With the mood in their camp at a red-hot high, there is no doubt that Argentina are smelling a real opportunity to claim a first world title since 1986 in Qatar.
With neutrals from across the globe all desperate to see Lionel Messi finally get his hands on the Jules Rimet trophy and put the cherry on top of his record-breaking career, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is enjoying another remarkable flurry.
In fact, once again finding the net as Argentina signed off their pre-World Cup preparations with a 5-0 romp against the UAE, Messi has notched 10 strikes in just his last five international appearances.
Opening this year’s tournament priced at 11/2 with 888sport to claim a third world crown on December 18th, the 35-year-old will be more than aware that he has the weight of a nation on his back in the Middle East.
Kylian Mbappe – France
With France’s opening this year’s World Cup in the midst of what has been an extended blip, there is no doubt that Les Bleus will be heavily reliant on their attacking talisman this winter.
With Didier Deschamps’ side priced at 15/2 with Betfair to defend their world crown in the Middle East, Kylian Mbappe will prove pivotal in France’s charge for glory.
While it might have been suggested over recent weeks that the 23-year-old has his sights set on a move away from Paris, Mbappe has opened the 2022/23 campaign with another free-scoring purple patch.
Already mustering 20 goals in his 22 appearances across all competitions so far this season, the ex-Monaco starlet has also continued to break a string of stellar records.
Finding the net against Juventus earlier in the month as PSG booked their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, Mbappe also became the youngster player in history to hit the 40-goal milestone – a record that was previously held by Thierry Henry.
Harry Kane – England
Watching England lose their elite Nations League status during September’s international break, England are another nation who open this year’s World Cup enduring an extended rut.
With it looking like there is real pressure on Gareth Southgate’s shoulders, England are in the midst of their longest winless run since way back in 1993.
However, if the Three Lions are to make history in the Middle East, Harry Kane will know that he has a key role to play.
Priced at 19/2 with Unibet to claim a first international trophy since 1966, the Tottenham talisman winner has enjoyed a career-best start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Entering the Premier League’s festive break with a goal in Spurs’ 4-3 victory against Leeds on November 12th, Kane has already notched 12 top-flight strikes – a record that is only surpassed by a certain Erling Haaland.
Lifting the World Cup’s Golden Boot out in Russia four years ago as England clinched a semi-final finish, the Three Lions’ skipper will prove crucial in Southgate’s plans to go one step further this winter.
Source: Soccer News
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