Top four players to watch in the 2018 World Cup

SANTA MONICA — It is the tournament that defines all others.  The tournament that features the best players at the top of their skills.  The drama and unpredictability of the beautiful game are what make the World Cup the must-see event for fans. We wait four years for this, and it never disappoints.

Whether witnessing the goals Maradona scored in 1986 goal or sharing in the unbelieved disgrace Brazil suffered at the Germany’s feet, the biggest moments in soccer history take place on the pitch during the World Cup. The competition, the names and the venues all hold their allure over societies and a huge part of why people come back for more every tournament.

This year the competition is at its best and promises to offer some of the biggest names in soccer going head to head. From Iceland’s underdog entry to reigning champion Germany, the 2018 Russia World Cup will be all the talk when things kick off on June 14 until late July, but watching the entire tournament early on can be quite the commitment. Since watching every game would be impossible for many fans, here’s a list of the top players in the World Cup you should make time to watch:

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Timo Werner

Germany claimed the 2014 World Cup trophy and are poised to do it all over again. They’ll be a team to watch with some great players, and Timo Werner is the top of the list for German. Miroslav Klose won’t be playing for Germany team for the first time since 1996 which led to Timo Werner’s chance to join his country. 

Werner appeared in the Confederations Cup last year for German where he won the golden boot. Showing the skills and promise in the Confederations Cup, he quickly became an obvious choice after Klose’s departure. In the cup, he tied with three other Germans for the most goals in the tournament while in Budesliga, he recorded 34 goals over two seasons.

While only 22, Werner is set to become the star striker for Germany if he can handle the big stage.

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Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus joins Timo Werner on the list of potential breakout stars in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. While he may be newer to the professional soccer world, Jesus isn’t untested in it. 

Jesus plays for the Premier League champion Manchester City. He’s performed well for the English, scoring 13 goals in just his second season of play. He earned 19 starts over 29 appearances and competed in four of the nine Champion League games. Internationally he’s earned 16 caps in which he scored 9 goals for Brazil.

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Lionel Messi

Arguably one of the greatest in the world, and yet he doesn’t have a World Cup title to go with it. It’s all anticipation now. After falling 1-0 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup, anticipation has built around Messi earning the world title.

The 30-year-old forward is not getting younger, and after so many close calls, Argentina and Messi are chomping at the bit to win one. Messi has taken titles left and right since he was young — 2005 U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympics. However over the years, he’s been left with nothing more than two quarterfinal exits and second place in the world finals.

Turning 31 next month though, Messi is set to end the dry spell this year as he probably won’t have another shot in four years. Isn’t it finally time?

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Cristiano Ronaldo

He’s taken the world by storm since he started playing. Like Messi, he’s been argued to be one of the best in the world and mesmerizes people with his abilities. Soccer fans can hardly understand the anomaly they have been dealt as they watch two of the greatest in soccer compete against each other almost on a weekly basis.

Like Messi, Ronaldo has take a number of competition titles but remains silent on the World Cup front. Playing for the Real Madrid, he’s won the Champion League title five times over the years. He’s received a number of awards and recognitions over the years including the world’s best soccer player five times.

Despite the outcome of the tournament though, Ronaldo’s style of play continues to be one of the most mesmerizing performances on the field to-date. His quick feet and cunningness draw soccer fans in and entertaining them unlike anyone else in soccer can do. He’s entertaining to watch and makes the matches more interesting than just any game of soccer.

Feature photo courtesy of ISI photos. In post photos courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo, Leo Messi, Gabriel Jesus and Timo Werner’s Instagrams.

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