As summer approaches near the expectations for the FIFA World Cup 2018 are at its peak, with millions of football fantastic and admirers of the beautiful game eyeing to witness the spectacle of the World Cup. 32 team will battle in a total of 64 matches spread over a month of footballing action in Russia to achieve the ultimate footballing glory.
Pele and Diego Maradona are taken as the two greatest to ever play this beautiful game and all thanks to their International achievements. World Cup is the tournament that widely helped them build their legendary legacy.
Be it an individual achievement for the wonders of the game, without any International tag one will obviously appear small. This is why Russia 2018's edition will be a benchmark for a number of players to make it big. Keeping the likes of individual performances in consideration, here we have five players to look out for in the FIFA World Cup 2018:
Video: Mohamed Salah- Egypt qualifies for FIFA World Cup 2018
Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian wonder boy has been tremendously captivating this season. With his diligence with Liverpool this on going-season, 2017-18, he is already being compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. With 43 goals in total 47 appearances, the 25-year-old also might succeed Ian Rush to claim the name of the highest scorer in a season for the team. Ian Rush had 47 goals to his name during the 1983-4 season.
Salah made his debut for the national team in 2011, and the World Cup 2018 qualifiers had been his horizon. He helped the team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and became the top scorer at the CAF qualification. Salah has scored 33 goals with the national team in 57 appearances.
Video: Neymra Jr- FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers
The Brazilian star was ruled out of the semi-final game at the FIFA World Cup 2014 following his injuring during the quarter-final game against Colombia. Russia's edit would be the perfect platform for the current Paris Saint-German forward to write his name in the history. Neymar is the fourth all-time top scorer for the national team, with 53 goals in 83 appearances
Brazil has a good history at the World Cup, with five Cups. Undoubtedly, this team is one of the strongest contenders to lift the trophy in Russia this summer. The team even might have a good edge over defenders with Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus in the front.
Video: Isco- Spain's magisterial
Francisco Roman Alarcon Suarez, Isco, might not be one to often rely on while at the Real Madrid, but the No.22 of the Spanish side is an ace in the hole for the national team.
Isco, 26, has been spectacular to watch with the Spanish national team. In 2013, Isco made his debut with the main squad, playing as a substitute for the last 30 minutes in a 3-1 win over Uruguay. He scored his first international goal for Spain in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying at a 3-0 win over Belarus. He scored his first-hat-trick for Spain on March 27, 2018, in a friendly against Argentina, pulling a 6-1 win.
Video: Cristiano Ronaldo - Portugal's trump card
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Real Madrid star has achieved almost all of the titles on an individual level including, five Ballon d'Or, four UEFA Best Player, Real Madrid's all-time scorer and Portugal's all times scorer. With Portugal national team he won the UEFA European Championship 2016.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players, the FIFA World Cup 2018 would be one crucial moment in his footballing career to have his name written in the history along with the other almighty. Currently 33 years old, Russia's edition is expected to be his last World Cup tournament.
Video: Lionel Messi - Argentina's One Man Show
Following his international retirement, after he missed the penalty at the Copa America 2016, there had been a campaign in Argentia for Messi to change his about retiring. He was greeted by fans with signs like "Don't go, Leo", having him change his mind.
With a loss in four finals with the national team, three of which in a row, including 2014 World Cup and Copa America (2007, 2015, 2016), Lionel Messi is one trophy short to be claimed as the one greatest to ever play the game along with the likes of Pele and Maradona.
With a hattrick in the World Cup qualifier against Ecuador, Argentina came from behind to claim a 3-1 win over Ecuador, helping Argentina to qualify for the World Cup. And the upcoming footballing event will be a do or die for Lionel Messi.