In each edition of the world’s most illustrious sporting competition, players that are not quite known worldwide stun the world and put their name in lights.
This year as ever, numerous relatively under-the-radar men will be eyeing summer stardom but who are the picks of the North and Central American bunch?
Let’s take a look.
5. Román Torres – centre back (Panama)
The first of many MLS stars on this list, the Seattle Sounders, wild-haired defender looks to lead his unlikely side into their first ever World Cup. Boasting impressive dreadlocks and physique, it’s hard to ignore him – especially when dominating in the air even with his short stance and lack of agility. Hoping to simply do his club proud, the experienced man could do himself no harm to his acclaim with a solid display during his nation’s run in the competition.
4. Diego Lainez – inside forward (Mexico)
Whilst I write this final edition of the series, I’m currently the same age as this América prodigy which is crazy to think considering he could be jetting off to Russia soon to witness only his 5th lifetime World Cup. At just 17, the 5ft 5in sensation has been on the lips of every Mexican football fan. He might just make the squad and if he does, he will no doubt get more than his home nation talking.
3. Marco Ureña – striker (Costa Rica)
Now playing for newly formed MLS side Los Angeles, the experienced and powerful front man is a focal point for his team who were the dark horses of the last World Cup. He has a lot to prove on the biggest stage but has the capacity to do so with a keen eye for goal when in form. Unfortunately, the man who formerly played in Russia has just had surgery on his face meaning it could affect his quality at the tournament but still watch out for him in a mask.
2. Michael Murillo – right back (Panama)
Since moving into New York Red Bulls’ first team, the athletic 22 year-old has never looked back. Notching 2 goals in 21 caps for his national teams, it’s safe to say he is an integral part of the young side’s set-up. In a group set to be one of the match watched, his dynamism might just be picked up on by some.
1. Hirving Lozano – winger (Mexico)
As one of the fastest men around, the PSV wide men has already made waves on either side of the Atlantic Ocean by playing well for both Pachuca and the Dutch outfit on the left and right flanks in his career. Nicknamed “Chucky”, the 22 year-old appears to have become one of his nation’s most prized assets. With a superb end product and pace to burn he could do it all in Russia.
Do you agree or disagree with these picks? Let us know.