The World Cup 2018 group stages has now come to an end, where most teams have amazingly reached to the Round of 16 within the competition, whilst the others return to their native countries, and enjoy a short break before the pre-season campaign start towards the last two weeks of July.
With the Round of 16 just kicked off, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the young individuals that have impressed their fans and football supporters around the world in their first World Cup campaign for their respective country. Some players are quite known and some are still on the rise.
With no further ado, here are the three youngsters that were incredible during the group stages…
Aleksandar Golovin – Russia
From the first group fixture against Saudi Arabia, CSKA Moscow’s Aleksandar Golovin showed his quality on and off the ball, from being able to drop deep to help his midfield to producing the key passes in the final third of the pitch. Also, his versatility is something that most managers in the world would love to see in a player, as he can play on the flanks as well as a central midfielder.
At the age of 22, he still has a couple of years left until he reaches his total peak and is already showing signs of how complete of a midfielder he actually is. Due to his recent rise and well as his consistent and please performances in the Russian Premier League last season, he has been now scouted by many of the well-known European clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea and Juventus.
Hirving Lozano – Mexico
Mexico surprised a lot of people when they went on to beat Germany as well as qualify for the knockout stages. Given the defensive solidity that Sweden possess and the energetic and fearless players that South Korea have in their line-up, all the odds were up against Juan Carlos Osorio’s men, who were expected and predicted to leave the competition before the World Cup had even started.
However, a certain winger called Hirving Lozano, has helped his side from the flanks through his incredible burst of pace and intelligent movement in the opposition’s half. The PSV Eindhoven attacker assisted his national team by scoring a goal against Germany and providing a valuable assist in the win over South Korea, which allowed Mexico to achieve six points from their first two games.
Manuel Akanji – Switzerland
Switzerland have had the tendency to be known to have a solid defence, dominant midfield and an inconsistent attack. Due to this, the national team have constantly done well in the group stages but have failed time and time again to do well in the knockout rounds. Centre-back Manuel Akanji has been one of the few reasons to why Vladimir Petkovic’s side have been aerially dominant and very tough to beat.
The 22-year-old is currently enjoying his time at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, who he joined during the January transfer window on a four-year deal from FC Basel. Since then, Akanji has made a number of league appearances under head coach Peter Stoger, and will be aiming to become a regular starter for the German side anytime soon. With Sokratis expected to leave in the summer, Akanji’s time to shine has certainly come.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Fantasy Football Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play www.fantasy-worldcup.com now!