With the World Cup final approaching, we take a look at five of the best to watch this weekend. These are the five players likely to have a big impact on Sunday night.
France’s midfield might seem thin without Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté in play, but the team thrives thanks to the efforts of Aurélien Tchouaméni, age 22. Tchouaméni has racked up 5 starts and 411 minutes of play, more than anyone else on the team. His pass completion percentage (in 355 tries) is 93.2%, a tournament high. Tchouaméni can certainly be described as the power keeping France competitive.
Rodrigo de Paul
While some observers claim that Argentina’s midfield creativity emanates entirely from Messi, Rodrigo de Paul has repeatedly demonstrated that even a star like Messi needs someone to do the legwork. De Paul’s numbers are impressive: he has the most interceptions, the most pass completions (436), and the most ground covered (32.5 miles). Argentina’s distinctive style of play would not be possible without de Paul.
Giroud is already the all-time leading scorer for France, and he’s hardly resting on his laurels. Now 36 years old, Olivier Giroud has scored four goals in four games, putting him just one goal behind the tournament leader. As that leader is his teammate Kylian Mbappé, with five, France is flying its colors as a goal-scoring juggernaut.
Just 23 years old, Kylian Mbappé is already angling for superlatives like “best in the world” and “all-time great.” The five goals he’s already scored are fueling France’s drive to secure the rare honor of multiple championships. However, his team is so strong that it would still be a contender without Mbappé. Despite his formidable play, Mbappé is not the lynchpin that this tournament’s number-one player is. Probably a good option for the livescore bet welcome offer here.
When comparing Messi and Mbappé, one notes distinct differences in the way opposing teams plan to counter the superstar. Messi is further back in midfield, and, at 35 years old, lacks the athletic stamina of Mbappé. Still, every side facing Argentina this year has a comprehensive, meticulous plan for handling Messi. Despite such focused opposition, Messi finds the loopholes, making the important passes and key goals. No one doubts that Messi (and Messi alone) is responsible for Argentina’s dominant performance in this tournament as well as the last three.
Cormac Reynolds – Writer
Featured Image is credited to Biser Todorov under Creative Commons License 4.0.
Original Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kylian_Mbappe_2017.jpg
Link to Creative Commons License 4.0: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en