There is always at least one.
Forget your Lionel Messis, Cristiano Ronaldos and Mo Salahs, at Every World Cup we always see at least one brilliant talent come out of nowhere and set the tournament alight.
Now, it is a fiendishly difficult task to predict which starlet is going to become a star in Russia, but I’ve given it a shot.
Remember back in 2014 when James Rodriguez suddenly became the hottest property in world football with those mouthwatering goals in Brazil?
Well take a look at this list and start working out which one Real Madrid are going to sign in the summer…
Group A: Jose Gimenez, Uruguay
Uruguay only make one type of central defender and that’s the type that is hard as nails.
Diego Godin has long been the enforcer at the back but now he is joined by fellow Ateltico Madrid man Jose Gimenez.
The 23-year-old has had an incredible season with Atleti, as part of the stingiest defence in Europe and winning the Europa League.
We can conceivable see Gimenez keeping three clean sheets in the group stage and the powerful youngster could form the ultimate roadblock with the master Godin in the knockout stages.
Prepare to be a household name in six weeks time.
Group B: Goncalo Guedes, Portugal
Weightless dribbling, Xavi-like passing and a little touch of flair.
Goncalo Guedes was the creator-in-chief as Valencia secured a Champions League spot for next season.
The 21-year-old set up nine goals in La Liga this year and scored another five himself.
How he does against the Spanish midfield will show exactly how good he is, but don’t be surprised if PSG bring him back from his loan and Valencia and parachute him straight into their midfield.
Group C: Corentin Tolisso, France
OK, so you might already know exactly how good Tolisso is from his Champions League exploits.
When you are commanding a starting spot in the Bayern Munich team for a European semi-final you’re obviously pretty good.
But if you outshine Paul Pogba in France’s midfield as Les Bleus win the World Cup then you really are something special.
Real Madrid player within three months.
Group D: Kelechi Iheanacho, Nigeria
Still only 21 years old, Iheanacho has won the League Cup with City, moved to Leicester for £25million and scored 15 Premier League goals.
And with his cohort of Premier League colleagues in Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi, Iheanacho’s speed and finishing could see him firing Nigeria into the knockouts ahead of Iceland and Croatia.
People have been quick to write him off but a strong World Cup and we could be looking at a completely different player come July.
Group E: Aleksandr Mitrovic, Serbia
The only player on this list currently* playing in the second division btu he deserves his place just as much as anyone else.
Mitrovic has turned Beast Mode firmly on since he joined Fulham on loan in January, banging in 12 league goals already.
A classic big man no.9, with a temper on him, Mitrovic could be the perfect addition to Serbia’s frontline when they face up against Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica.
Dark horse for the quarters and much bigger things for Mitrovic ahead.
Group F: Niklas Sule/Timo Werner, Germany
What are all defenders scared of? Pace.
And Timo Wener has buckets of it, the RB Leipzig youngster has breezed his way into pole position to lead the line for Germany.
He’ll get in behind and score plenty of goals and could fire the Germans all the way to a historic double.
But we couldn’t choose in this group and Niklas Sule, with his huge frame and incredible pace for a centre-back might announce himself to the world stage if there are any injuries to Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng.
Group G: Ruben Loftus-Cheek, England
England are hardly blessed with creativity and imagination in midfield.
Yes, Loftus-Cheek was the joker in the pack from Gareth Southgate but it could be one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
RLC looked like a world beater towards the end of the season with Crystal Palace and his ability to find a pass in midfield is exactly what England need if they are going to win this World Cup.
But we are going to need Southgate to show some cajones and give this man some game time.
Can’t be guaranteed.
Group H: Yerry Mina, Colombia
There was a lot of fanfare when Mina signed for Barcelona in January.
The towering centre-back was exactly what they needed and you could say the same for Colombia.
He’s only 23 but already possesses a composure on the ball that is hard to teach.
And if he can keep the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane away from goal in the group stages then you should start writing your Tom and Jerry chants now.
Dream Team World Cup has landed!
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is coming ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- PRE-REGISTER FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
The game officially launches on June 1 – but you can pre-register for the game now.
If you’re an existing Dream Team customer the World Cup game now appears in the app or you can enter here, but if you’re not follow these simple steps:
- Download the Dream Team app
- Create an account
- Click on the World Cup banner below in the app and follow the pre-registration instructions
From Russia with a whole lot of love.