With the global extravaganza already hit and running, we have witnessed some terrific footballing display so far. We have seen some of the big names crash in the primero hurdle while some of the minnows have shone to rewrite history. But there has been some players who have lifted their performance and has gained some early praise in the tournament.
As the first game week in Russia is already over, we are here to evaluate some of the hotshots in the tournament so far. There has been many players who have already made a name for themselves but there has been some of the pile who sit at the pinnacle of the list.
Denis Cheryshev (Russia):
Denis Cheryshev is a name that will be uttered with a lot of affection by every Russians as the Villareal man has already scored 3 times in the tournament. He was unsure about his part in the tournament but Dzagoev’s injury gave him an opportunity and so far he has taken that with both hands. He scored twice against Saudi Arabia and netted another against Egypt. The 27 year old has earned himself a spot at the limelight for the hosts after the Russian team and players were bashed and heavily criticized for their preparations coming to the tournament. And despite of all that, Cheryshev is flying, so are Russia.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal):
The modern football sensation has been the saviour of his country, scoring four goals so far in the two matches Portugal have played, and astonishningly no one apart from Cristiano has scored for Portugal in the tournament so far.
He bamboozled the Spanish defense although he had some luck, and scored a superb header to give his side a pivotal win against Morocco. There is still a long way to go but it is vivid that Ronaldo will have to be up to his very best to take Portugal to the distance, or even close to that.
Hirving Lozano (Mexico):
Very few people would have thought that Hirving Lozano will make the list including myself, but the Golden boy of Mexico scored a monumental goal that helped El Tri to win over World Champions Germany in the first group game of theirs.
His pace, skills were already noticed after an excellent season with PSV, but the former Pachuca man took the full opportunity in the biggest stage of the game, soring past Manuel Neuer against Germany. The Mexicans will be eyeing to go far this year and the 22 year old will be a massive part of that for sure if they do that.
Harry Kane (England):
England’s captain fantastic Harry Kane came to their rescue against Tunisia when he scored from a header to give Three Lions a much needed winning start to the tournament. He has come after a splendid season with Spurs, but England have always been slow starters in the biggest stages. But a win for them was crucial and Kane scored both the goals in their 2-1 win over Tunisia. He is the talsiman of the side and his rich vein of form will definitely determine the fates of the English in the latter stages.
Diego Godin (Uruguay):
Uruguay have already sealed a berth for them after back to back wins in the group stages, but one of the main reason of their progression have been a stellar defensive pair, led by Diego Godin.
Godin has been tremendous in both the games and saved the South American side in numerous occasions from conceding. With Jose Gimenez and other players along with him in defense and Muslera at goal, they haven’t conceded a goal yet, which is a decent achievement. But provided that they faced Egypt and Saudi Arabia, scoring one goal each justifies the offensive misfire they have and hence Godin’s role in defense is more significant than it seems at the first place.