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FIFA World Cup 2018: The New Stars on the Block

Once every four years at the FIFA World Cup, there is present a plethora of stars. Some aren’t able to live up to the expectations, whereas some make the world stage their own. Similarly the current edition of the tournament has thrown up some breathtaking performances from all parts of the field. Whilst, the traditional individual stars have all been eliminated at different stages, a host of younger footballers have used this chance to cement their place in the footballing folklore of their nations.

News18 Sports

Updated:July 14, 2018, 12:47 PM IST
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FIFA World Cup 2018: The New Stars on the Block
(Image: FIFA)
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Once every four years at the FIFA World Cup, there is present a plethora of stars. Some aren’t able to live up to the expectations, whereas some make the world stage their own. Similarly the current edition of the tournament has thrown up some breathtaking performances from all parts of the field. Whilst, the traditional individual stars have all been eliminated at different stages, a host of younger footballers have used this chance to cement their place in the footballing folklore of their nations.

News18Sports takes you through five of the best young names who have shone brighter than most in Russia.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

AFP AFP

At 19, Mbappe is the world’s most expensive teenager in the game, and whilst his abilities are not new to anyone, he has taken the World Cup with a storm like Pele did in 1958. Power, pace and a good sense of what to do with the ball epitomise Mbappe. Against Argentina he was in full flow displaying all his qualities to single-handedly end the great Lionel Messi’s summer. On Sunday, he will be looking to run away with football’s biggest prize, and straight into the pantheon of greats.

Benjamin Pavard (France)


Reuters Reuters

France was staring at elimination against Argentina in the Round of 16, and out of nowhere Benjamin Pavard produced a moment of brilliance to set things straight. The former Lille man replaced Djibril Sidibe and since then has not looked back. Tireless running and a great understanding of the situation has helped him become an imposing figure at right back. As Didier Deschamps looks to wrap up a second world title, he will be thankful for the presence of such talent. Such has been the 22-year old’s display that Bayern Munich is keen to get him at all costs.

Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)

Getty Images Getty Images

Russia’s foray to the quarter-finals of their home World Cup was simply unexpected, and while Denis Cheryshev was rifling in some screamers, Golovin covered every blade of grass in an attempt to keep the engine room going. Golovin played four games and returned with a goal, two assists and more than 50 km covered. One of the lynchpins of the Russian success story, he is on the radar of Unnai Emery, Maurizio Sarri, while reports indicate that the CSKA Moscow player wants to play for Juventus.

Hakim Ziyach (Morocco)

Zimbio.com Zimbio.com

While Morocco had a forgettable World Cup with a first round exit and only 1 point to boast off from three games, Hakim Ziyach caught the eye of more than a few. Morocco’s only proper hope of getting something through in attack always came through Ziyach and even though he did not register the goals or the assists he was crucial in earning a draw against Spain and in the defeat to Portugal where they missed a whole host of chances. The Ajax midfielder is being touted as a replacement for Nabil Fekir at Lyon, while AS Roma is also trying to lure him away from the Dutch league.

Hirving Lozano (Mexico)

Getty Images Getty Images

Mexico took the World Cup by storm after they beat the defending champions Germany on their first day and the one to strike the first blow was Hirving Lozano with a delightful finish past the normally difficult to beat Manuel Neuer. That was the only goal Lozano scored, while assisting another and duly falling back in defense to help his team out. The PSV Eindhoven man’s only issue is his temper. Lozano’s World Cup ended at the quarter finals against Brazil.

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| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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