2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: BREAKOUT PLAYERS TO WATCH
By Daniel Woolard
Once every four years the world watches 32 countries compete on the biggest stage in all of sports — the FIFA World Cup.
Entire cultures come to a halt as their team takes the field to compete. The tournament brings people together, and briefly allows the commotion in life to fade.
As players take the field in Russia in the coming weeks, the world will be watching. Not just fans of the game, but owners, general managers, and coaches. Players become national icons because of breakout performances at a World Cup, but the impact of such performances doesn’t end there.
In the past we have seen a number of players transfer to more well-known leagues and clubs on the back of a breakout World Cup performance. For instance, Carlos Tevez made the move to Tottenham of the EPL (English Premier League) following his performance with Argentina in the 2006 World Cup. Since the move, Tevez has been a household name in European soccer.
Alexis Sanchez also capitalized on the opportunity of playing in front of the world in the 2010 World Cup for Chile. At the time Sanchez was playing for Udinese in Italy’s Serie A. Within weeks after the 2010 World Cup, Sanchez transferred to Spanish giant Barcelona.
Hirving Lozano might be one of those players to burst onto the world soccer scene in Russia. Lozano is coming off a particularly strong season with PSV Eindhoven scoring 17 times and adding nine assists. Considering the form Lozano has been in, and the tactical mind of the Mexican National Team head coach, Juan Carlos Osorio, Lozano could produce some highlight reel goals this summer.
Another player to keep an eye on is Egyptian winger Mahmoud Kahraba. Kahraba is an electric attacking player that has the ability to change a game with one piercing run. Currently playing for Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Professional League, Kahraba could be a player we see transfer to a larger club soon after the tournament ends.
As soccer fans from around the world watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer, new global stars will be born. These breakout stars will not only have their lives changed by representing their nation in soccer’s most prestigious tournament, but by opening the door to new leagues, countries, and fanbases.