Top 20 players of the World Cup group stage
Well this isn’t easy, Mr. Editor...
The World Cup group stage is complete, and we saw some outstanding performances from players in Russia.
[ MORE: Knockout round schedule, bracket ]
Harry Kane scored five, one more than Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo. Philippe Coutinho looked like the player Barcelona spent a whole lot of dough for, and Keylor Navas shone in defeat.
But what about the lesser known names? Aleksandr Golovin went from being linked with mid-table Premier League teams to the wish lists of the globe’s top sides. And Hirving “Chucky” Lozano delivered on his next big El Tri thing promise.
It’s safe to say many of these names will make our 20, but we still had a starting point of 33 names even with judicious trimming.
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20. Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia
19. Luka Modric, Croatia
18. Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland
17. Yerry Mina, Colombia
16. Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark
15. Viktor Claesson, Sweden
14. Lionel Messi, Argentina
13. Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium
12. Carlos Salcedo, Mexico
11. Neymar, Brazil -- 5.3 shots per game and a thrilling performance should have him in the Top Three, but his shameful dive zips him back to here at a minimum. Maybe next round, Ney.
10. Ivan Rakitic, Croatia
9. Philippe Coutinho, Brazil
8. Aleksandr Golovin, Russia
7. Jose Gimenez, Uruguay
6. N’Golo Kante, France
5. Eden Hazard, Belgium
4. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
3. Isco, Spain
2. Harry Kane, England
1. Romelu Lukaku, Belgium
Honorable mention: Wilfred Ndidi, Nigeria; Gen Shoji, Japan; Kieran Trippier, England; Casemiro, Brazil; Thiago Silva, Brazil; Toni Kroos, Germany; Artem Dzyuba, Russia; Hirving Lozano, Mexico; Diego Costa, Spain; Luis Suarez, Uruguay; Diego Godin, Uruguay; Andreas Grandqvist, Sweden; Sardar Azmoun, Iran; Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia; David Ospina, Colombia; Cho Hyun-Woo, South Korea; Mohamed Salah, Egypt; Edgar Barcenas, Panama; Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland; Aaron Mooy, Australia; Kendall Waston, Costa Rica; Salem Al Dawsari, Saudi Arabia; Amine Harit, Morocco; Gylfi Sigurdsson, Iceland; Luis Advincula, Peru; M’Baye Niang, Senegal.