Wed, 23 Nov 2022 03:08 PM IST
The World Cup is much more than just a stage for the world's best national teams' competitions. They're iconic matches that fans will remember for the rest of their lives (such as Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in 2014), memorable goals (Maradona's legendary solo goal vs England in 1986), shocking events (Zidane headbutting Materazzi in 2006 World Cup final), and the birth of new football heroes. It is also an opportunity for players to demonstrate and prove their worth.
Speaking about worth, each national team taking part in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has at least one player considered invaluable to their squad. Some of them are rising stars, while others are experienced veterans. Here's a look at the ten most valuable player competing in
the ongoing World Cup, according to PhotoAiD.
1. Kylian Mbappe, France (USD 165.24 million)
The 23-year-old French striker playing for Paris Saint-Germain is currently second most valuable player in the world (after Erling Haaland). Mbappé has been among the most exciting players for many years and is considered the successor of Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He is also the second-youngest player who ever scored a goal in a World Cup final after Pelé, recognized as the best footballer in history. Will he lead France to their second-in-row championship in the most prestigious football tournament?
2. Vinicius Junior, Brazil (USD 123.82 million)
Most experts perceive Vinicius as the top talent of his generation, next to Mbappé and Haaland. The 22-year-old Brazilian winger proved his value last season. He was an important figure in another Real Madrid Champions League victory, scoring the winning goal in the final. After 20 years of last Brazil's championship in the football World Cup, he could be the one to lead Brazil to glory in 2022.
3. Phil Foden, England (USD 113.5 million)
Despite his young age (22 years old), Foden is yet a four-time Premier League champion with Manchester City. He also became the youngest ever player to receive the English top football league's winners' medal. England national team supporters have high hopes for him as he is
considered one of the best midfielders in the world. His outstanding performances will be crucial if England wants to win their first World Cup since 1966.
4. Pedri, Spain (USD 113.2 million)
Pedro González López, known as Pedri, is 19 years old wonderkid from Barcelona. He is definitely one of the most exciting talents in world football. In 2021, he won the Golden Boy award. Pedri plays as a creative midfielder and has an exceptional game vision. It remains to be seen if he will be able to lead Spain to their first World Cup title since 2010.
5. Federico Valverde, Uruguay (USD 113.2 million)
The 24-year-old Uruguayan midfielder plays for Spanish giants Real Madrid. Valverde was one of the crucial players during the 2021/2022 season when Real Madrid won their record-extending 35th La Liga title and 14th Champions League trophy. He has also been praised for his work ethic and determination on the pitch. Valverde will be an important figure in Uruguay's national team that won the World Cup twice in its history.
6. Dusan Vlahovic, Serbia (USD 87.6 million)
The left-footed Serbian striker playing for Juventus is considered one of the best young strikers in the world. He was one of the top scorers in the 2020/2021 Serie A season with 21 goals. At the beginning of the current season, he scored two outstanding free-kick goals in two matches in a row.
Vlahović will be a key player for Serbia as they look to make it out of the group stage for the first time since 2010.
7. Jamal Musiala, Germany (USD 82.5 million)
Despite his young age (he just turned 19), Musiala already became a Bayern Munich star. He is the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score a brace and also became the second-youngest Champions League scorer for the German giants. Musiala's high potential was recognized by the German national football team, who called him up for their Euro 2020 squad. Will he be able to lead Germany to its first World Cup title since 2014?
8. Bernardo Silva, Portugal (USD 82.5 million)
The 28-year-old Bernardo Silva plays as a midfielder for Premier League champions Manchester City. He led his team to numerous victories, including the 2020/2021 Champions League final. He is also an important player in Portugal's national team, who won the 2016 Euro championship and hope to claim their first World Cup title as well. Silva's experience and skills will be crucial for Portugal's success in the upcoming tournament.
9. Kevin de Bruyne, Belgium (USD 82.5 million)
Manchester City's brain, one of the greatest midfielders in the world often described as a "complete footballer". 31-year-old de Bruyne is a four-time Premier League champion and was twicely chosen as Premier League Player of the Year. In the last tournament, he led Belgium national football team to their first-ever World Cup medal (bronze). De Bruyne is a creative midfielder with an incredible vision of the game and fantastic passing abilities. He is considered the most critical player for "Red Devils".
10. Heung-min Son, South Korea (USD 77.32 million)
Often considered one of the best Asian footballers in history, Son is a 30-year-old forward playing for Tottenham Hotspur. He is a two-time Asian Footballer of the Year, a Puskás Award winner in 2020 (for the best goal of the year), and was named in the 2020 UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season. Son will be a crucial player for South Korea as they look to repeat their success from 2002 when their national team reached the semifinals.