Sunday, December 4, 2022

3 Players To Watch Out For In This 2022 FIFA World Cup Including Liverpool’s Van Dijk

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to kick off in Qatar this Sunday as 32 of the best nations in the world try to battle it out to see who comes out on top at the Lusail Stadium where the final will be held on December 20.

Some of the best talents in world football will take the stage in the Middle East for the first time in the famous FIFA competition’s history. To celebrate the return of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, let’s take a look at three players to watch out for in this edition of the tournament.

Virgil Van Dijk (Netherlands)

The Dutch central defender is having a tough season at Liverpool where he has struggled to keep things tidy at the back over the past few months. The 31-year-old has made 21 appearances for the Reds this season, scoring one goal across all fronts.

However, Van Dijk has done well to average 0.7 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 4.1 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from the back, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 88.8% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Van Dijk has often been guilty of being a bit passive with his defending at Liverpool this season which is something he needs to rectify when he laces up for the Netherlands in this year’s World Cup. If the talented powerhouse can find some form on the field, the Dutch have a good chance of going on a long cup run in Qatar.

FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi is having a great campaign at Paris Saint-Germain as he has managed to produce several influential displays for them in the final third. The Argentine superstar has banged in 12 goals and grabbed 14 assists in 19 matches for the French club this season in all competitions.

The 35-year-old will be desperate to do well for Argentina when he participates in this year’s World Cup which will probably be the last of his career. Messi’s Argentina are in an excellent run of form at the moment as they are unbeaten in their last 35 international games and would fancy their chances of going all the way in Qatar soon.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Kylian Mbappe has been a prolific goal-scorer for most of his career and is one of the prime contenders to win the golden boot award in this edition of the World Cup. The French talent has scored 19 goals and secured five assists in 20 matches for Paris Saint-Germain this season across multiple competitions.

The 23-year-old will once again be France’s main source of goals in this World Cup. Hence, he will definitely be a player to keep an eye on when the tournament kicks off on November 20.

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