To the delight of football fans across the world, the World Cup is finally here. The prestigious tournament only takes place every four years and the best thirty two countries from around the world compete against each other to get their hands on the World Cup trophy. Before the tournament kicked off, the World Cup odds suggested that current world champions Germany were the favourites to lift the trophy for the second consecutive tournament. However, their performance in their 1-0 defeat to Mexico in the opening group game will have worried those that placed bets on them. Although defeat in the first game isn’t ideal, previous World Cup winners have been defeated in the first game and ended up winning the tournament. For example, Spain won the World Cup in 2010 despite losing their first group game against Switzerland 1-0. The Spain odds World Cup suggest that the Spanish team are outside favourites for the competition this year.
Obviously the main focus for the majority of fans will be the ‘larger’ nations as they are the most ‘high-profile’ players and have a very good chance of making it to the later stages of the tournament. However with thirty two nations competing in the tournament, there will be a number of players which aren’t that familiar to the casual football fan that has the potential to shock a few people with some very impressive performances. Nations such as Sweden and Mexico enjoyed fairly successful qualifying campaigns and have some very good players in their teams which could make a big impression at the tournament. One player which many fans will want to keep an eye on is Hirving Lozano. The Mexican winger experienced a very successful season with PSV, scoring 19 goals in all competitions and helping PSV win their 24th Eredivisie title. Lozano has also impressed at international level despite only making his debut with the national team in 2016. The tricky winner is renowned for his pace and was a key player in Mexico’s 1-0 win against Germany earlier in the tournament where he managed to score the only goal of the game.
This infographic looks at some of the players which could surprise a few people with their performances this tournament. Every tournament some players tend to perform above their usual playing ability and put in some world class performances. There’s no reason to expect this to be any different, especially with some players making their first ever appearance in a World Cup finals. ‘Wonderkids’ such as Hirving Lozano are included in this infographic, but veterans like Fernando Muslera could also surprise people with their performances. Check it out!