The ongoing World Cup in Qatar is proving to be a lot of entertainment for football fans worldwide. The upsets and underdog stories forming so far are impressive and show how entertaining football can be. Some players are carrying their teams into the competition’s knockout stages, while others seem to be out of form or carrying injuries.
Football fans will be eagerly anticipating how the last 16 teams fare in the tournament as they take on an opponent they might not have expected just weeks ago. Here is a look at some top players carrying their squads into the knockout stages:
Kylian Mbappe – France
Kylian Mbappe has been carrying the French squad at this year’s World Cup. The PSG star scored a pair of goals against Denmark in France’s last-16 match, securing their spot in the next round of play.
Mbappe currently leads all 2022 FIFA World Cup players in shots (13), shots on goal (9), expected Goals (2.3) and touches in the box (29). He is tied for the top scorer at the world cup with three goals at the time of writing.
Alexander Mitrovic – Serbia
Serbia remains dependent on their talisman to translate his club form to the world cup stage. Alexander Mitrovic is the best-performing Serbian player at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar, but he will have to step up a gear if his team are to progress from Group G.
The Fulham striker has scored one goal in two games thus far and will be keen to add to that tally when Serbia face Switzerland on Friday, having drawn 303 against Cameroon and lost 2-0 to Brazil.
Vincent Aboubakar – Cameroon
Vincent Aboubakar, the striker of Cameroon, has been a shining armour for his team as they try to make it out of the group.
Aboubakar’s journey to the last 16 has been difficult, especially with their 1-0 loss to Switzerland. But he has helped them bounce back strongly, scoring two goals and providing two assists in their spirited 3-3 comeback against Serbia.
Now, he is coming off the bench and keeping Cameroon’s hopes of a spot in the last 16.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
Lionel Messi has been carrying his team for the World Cup, and it’s not even close. Argentina was dealt a huge blow in their start to the world cup after a shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia. But all was revived when they regained their 2-0 win over Mexico to boost their chances of making the last 16.
Messi’s moment of brilliance proved the difference while managing to pull the strings for his camp.
Enner Valencia – Ecuador
Enner Valencia has been Ecuador’s most important player at the World Cup. He is the current joint top scorer with three goals, including one penalty in their opening game against Switzerland and another two in the 1-1 draw with the Netherlands.
Although he is not a prolific goal-scorer, his spot-kick opener made him the oldest player to score the tournament’s opening goal. His second goal was also crucial, as it was an equaliser that would have taken Ecuador through to their first-ever knockout stage had they won.