Saturday, October 20, 2018

Top 5 Forwards to Watch at 2018 World Cup

Milos Markovic in Editorial, Soccer Specials, World Cup 5 Jun 2018

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As the countdown to the 2018 World Cup in Russia continues the SoccerNews.com World Cup special is reaching its peak.

After a piece detailing in on the top 5 midfielders you should watch during the showpiece tournament in Russia now is time to rank the best strikers that we believe will keep us all entertained.

Kicking it off in style – albeit an unusual one – here is a tribute to two of world’s greatest football stars at the moment. Without any intention to fuel the ever-going Messi vs Ronaldo debate, here is a compromise to start with.

Leo Messi + Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona and Real Madrid superstars Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have scored the total of 93 goals across all competitions combined during the 2017/18 season. The La Liga champion and Champions League winner are the absolute best the world has to offer at this particular moment in time and will definitely be two players under the greatest of scrutiny in Russia.

Leo Messi has been installed as the firm favourite to finish the World Cup as the tournament’s top scorer with 9/1 betting odds stacked in his favour. The Argentine has suffered too many World Cup heartbreaks and is determined to lead his team to glory in 2018.

Cristiano Ronaldo is an outside favourite to land the tournament’s Golden Shoe award at a 14/1 price, mostly because the world is not too optimistic about Portugal’s realistic chances of upgrading their European Championship 2016 win.

The two world’s leading stars will undoubtedly be the most entertaining factor in Russia along with the second – third that is – name on this list of five. Six actually.

Neymar

Brazil national team is on a mission. The Selecao are fighting their way back to the top of the world after a 2014 tragedy when Germany romped them out of the competition on the back of a 7-1 heartache.

Tite’s men are looking stronger than ever – tight in defence and fluent in attack – and are expected to launch a serious World Cup bid. The leading star of this team is Neymar, who is on a mission of his own. The Brazilian superstar is returning from a lengthy absence and is once again prepared to leave his mark.

After three months out through injury, Neymar got back in action last week against Croatia – and he got back with a bang. The PSG forward came on as a half-time substitute and put in an inspirational display which he capped with a sublime goal in the 69th minute.

It was a moment of pure joy for Neymar who will have been given a huge confidence boost ahead of the final showpiece.

Robert Lewandowski

Polish international Robert Lewandowski has been one of the most consistent strikers in world football over the course of past couple of seasons.

Bayern Munich superstar scored the total of 42 goals for club and country during the 2017/18 season. The number stands as proof of incredible form knowing this tally was achieved in 51 games, showing that Lewandowski is definitely one of the most lethal forces around.

Heading into the World Cup in Russia, the Polish international will be keen to break the poor pattern. Contrary to his club form and the one he displays during the qualifications, Lewandowski tend to suffer at the tournaments.

As a player who is said to be looking for a new challenge in his career, the Juventus and Real Madrid target will be eager to put up his best display in Russia and boost his price a bit.

Mohamed Salah

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah will definitely be one of the stars of the show in Russia.

The Egyptian single-handedly led his nation to a historic success and will be expected to continue his flying form and help the Pharaohs achieve a notable World Cup appearance this summer.

There were fears Salah would not be able to take part at the World Cup – or at least during the group stages –  after he suffered a shoulder injury during the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Los Blancos captain had largely been accused of injuring Salah on purpose with his action forcing an Egyptian lawyer to file a €1 billion lawsuit against him.

The Egyptian king who scored 44 goals in 52 appearances for the Anfield based outfil has been named in the World Cup squad and hopes remain he will be fit for the grand opening.

Paolo Guerrero

The 34-year-old striker is going through an emotional rollercoaster at the moment.

The Flamengo striker and Peru’s all-time leading goalscorer had originally been banned from appearing at the World Cup due to a doping suspension. Guerrero was tested positive for a metabolite of cocaine at a World Cup qualifier against Argentina in October 2017 and was given a 14-month ban.

The world players’ union FIFPro wrote to FIFA on May 20 to request that Guerrero should be allowed to participate at the World Cup in a public action backed by many a world’s footballing star such as Hugo Lloris, Mile Jedinak, Simon Kjaer – captain’s of Peru’s Group C opponents.

FIFA ultimately allowed him to play and Guerrero was included in Peru’s squad, while also announcing himself in his reprieve by scoring a brace in a 3-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia.

His story alone makes him a worthy inclusion to this list as the experienced striker remains the subject of great attention around the globe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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