With the World Cup well underway, the hype around football (or soccer) is as high as ever. Of course, many people are rightly questioning the location of the matches, but we aren’t talking about that issue today.
Instead, we want to focus on the footballers that many people aren’t talking about. The amazing players who are doing all of the “behind the scenes” work to make the stars shine. Without these players on the team, the World Cup 2022 odds may look completely different.
Federico Chiesa – Italy
Okay, so Italy didn’t make it into the World Cup this year. That doesn’t mean we cannot take a closer look at their players. In fact, their inability to make it past qualifying is another reason why their team members should be considered for this list.
The 4-time champions deserve the screen time from the World Cup, and one player in particular should be getting more attention – Federico Chiesa.
Chiesa originally played for the Italian team Fiorentina. He was a big fish in a little pond, so when he made the Juventus team many people didn’t think he would keep up with this leadership team’s performance. He proved everyone wrong and became a solid midfielder for the team, but instead of cheering this player on, everyone ignored this amazing effort.
Soon we will all see the amazing talent of Federico Chiesa.
Gerard Moreno – Spain
You would normally expect Moreno to be among the Spanish players in a World Cup, but unfortunately, our favorite Villarreal player didn’t make the cut this year. Moreno is currently 30 years old, and in his last couple of seasons has struggled with fitness.
Because of this many people have ruled Moreno out as a “has been”. Gerard hoped to prove everyone wrong by putting in his best performance in the World Cup, but the team decided he was too much of a risk.
Spain is sleeping on Moreno as his knowledge and skill against these world-class players were exactly what Spain needed to make a punch this year.
Marcos Llorente – Spain
Llorente played for Real Madrid and although his talents match his team’s, he struggled to make a name for himself among the greats. Instead, he moved to the lower-standard team of Atletico Madrid which was the best change for him. In this team, he became an integral member of the game and soon his fans began to grow.
Reputation on the rise, Llorente was ready to take on the World Cup, and yet disaster came calling. Llorente injured his calf muscles to a significant degree just 5 weeks before the World Cup games began.
Now his dreams and desires of reaching a new audience have been squashed. Before this event happened, there was no doubt about whether Llorente would become a shining star in the World Cup, but now we will have to wait another 4 years to see this star in action.
Marc Cucurella – Spain
Llorente wasn’t the only player who hurt themselves before the games – José Gayà sprained his ankle days before the first match. With the left back out of commission, Cucurella became one of three candidates ready to take his place. It was between Marc, Alejandro Baldé, and Alex Moreno to take his place.
Baldé won the callback, which means that Cucurella and Moreno are still left as substitutes. To make this blow even worse, Baldé plays with Cucurella in their Chelsea team.
Cucurella, who has been named player of the season and is worth £60 million ($72,864,300) cannot catch a break!
Tomáš Souček – Czech Republic
Souček normally plays for West Ham United as a defensive midfielder. They are currently 7th in the Premier League which contains 20 teams. The team has grown in strength with Souček as part of the defensive team, so much so that they bought the player out of his loan.
Souček originally played for Slavia Prague as part of the Czech First League but was loaned out to Viktoria Zizkov, Slovan Liberec, and then West Ham in 2020 for a completely different change of pace.
With West Ham, Souček seemed to find his groove. After just 13 appearances with the team, West Ham bought Souček out of his deal with Slavia Prague. Since then Souček has appeared 88 times in 2 years! That’s over 30% more appearances in the last 2 years than he had in the 5 years prior.
In the West, Ham Souček was able to spread his wings. He became so good that the Czech Republic named him captain for the World Cup. But, this is where the triumphs fail. Souček is good in the English league but put next to the Czech players the groove just isn’t there.
The Czech Republic wasn’t going to play in the World Cup after they lost to Sweden in the qualifiers. However, the rules have changed, and now we might be able to see Souček in action! Keep an eye on this team as Souček is directing them to victory.
A lot of underrated footballers didn’t make it to the World Cup either through injury or lack of faith from the managers. But keep these players in mind for substitutions and other leagues.