The World Cup unearths new talent every time its showcase. Russia 2018 will not be any different, with many expecting new players to emerge and current players to continue to shine.
5. Kelechi Iheanacho
The Leicester striker is one of the stars expected to shine for Nigeria in Russia. At the age of only 21, the lanky striker has managed to represent the Super Eagles 14 times at the senior level and is widely touted as one of the brightest African prospects.
With Chelsea winger Victor Moses and Watford’s Odion Ighalo, the three for a fearsome attacking trio that will be feared.
4. Kalidou Koulibaly
Koulibaly has been one of the shining stars in Italy while playing for Napoli. He had a stellar season, helping the Naples club to the second spot in a tight Seria A race. He narrowly missed out becoming African Player of the Year and can continue with the same when he represents Senegal in Russia.
The centre-back has been one of the mainstays for the ‘Teranga Lions’ in the past two years, representing Senegal in the African Cup of Nations last year.
His form has seen clubs including Chelsea and Manchester City to the line-up for his signature.
3. Sadio Mane
One of the standout players in Liverpool’s dream season to the Champions League, Sadio Mane will have another chance to shine for his country. Many expect him to be the star player for Senegal in Russia and carries the nation’s hopes in their second appearance at the biggest football stage.
2. Alex Iwobi
Iwobi is only 20 but has wowed many with his skills and pace. The Arsenal starlet has a bright future and is seen as another bright star in Russia.
He has been compared to Nigeria great J.J. Okocha, who also happens to be his uncle. He made his debut aged 17 and will be number one choice for the team in his preferred striking position.
1. Mohamed Salah
Africa’s best player will be expected to continue with his blistering form from the just concluded English Premier League season.
He single-handedly carried Liverpool to the finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Real Madrid. He, however, sustained an injury after tangling with Sergio Ramos but is expected to shake it off and have a good tournament.
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