FIFA World Cup 2022: Five most underrated players from the tournament

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most followed sporting events globally and provides the perfect platform for players to blossom.

Rohit Kumar
Dec 15, 2022 11:28 IST
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Dominik Livakovic and Sofyan Amrabat (Source - Twitter)

Dominik Livakovic and Sofyan Amrabat (Source - Twitter)

The FIFA World Cup is one of the most followed sporting events globally and provides the perfect platform for players to blossom and showcase themselves with millions watching them. Some of the world's best footballers have managed to make a name for themselves on the grandest stage of the sport over the years.

A look at some players who weren't very well known coming into the tournament but have enhanced their reputations.

1. Cody Gakpo

Cody Gakpo (Source - Twitter) Cody Gakpo (Source - Twitter)

Cody Gakpo’s price tag has sky-rocketed with his performance in Qatar which saw him become the first Dutch player to score in his first three World Cup matches. He usually operates on the left side of the forward line for PSV but Louis Van Gaal has used him more centrally. He has adjusted quickly and the Dutch have reaped the rewards.

With a brilliant header against Senegal, he has shown that he is good in the air, and with his feet when he ran through a maze of Qatari defenders around him to curl it past the goalkeeper.

2. Dominik Livakovic

Dominik Livakovic (Source - Twitter) Dominik Livakovic (Source - Twitter)

Livakovic has grabbed a huge chunk of the spotlight in this World Cup, and deservedly so. He saved three penalties in the shootout against Japan in the Round of 16 matches to help his team qualify for the quarters.  In the quarterfinal against Brazil, Livakovic made 11 saves in 120 minutes. He denied the talismanic Neymar four times, Lucas Paqueta twice, and Vincius Jr and Antony, once each to force the match to penalties. 

In the shootout, he saved the first penalty of Rodrygo to preserve Croatia’s lead, and eventually, it won the shootout as Marquinhos missed the deciding penalty. Livakovic faced a total of 21 attempts on goal, out of which he made 10 goal interventions. Out of the 11 saves he made, he retained the ball five times. Livakovic had a stunning save percentage of 91.

3. Rafael Leao

Rafael Leao (Source - Twitter) Rafael Leao (Source - Twitter)

He may have come in as a substitute in all four matches for Portugal but even in that limited time, he has impressed with the pace he possesses while playing on the left wing. Born in Almada, Portugal, he moved the AC Milan from Lille at the start of the 2019-20 season and since then his stock has been on the rise. Last season, when AC Milan won the Serie A title, was a breakthrough one for him which saw him score 11 goals and provide 10 assists in the league.

He has carried that form into the current season which has seen him score seven goals and provided nine assists in 20 matches in all competitions for the Rossoneri. He has been heavily linked to moving to Chelsea next season if not in the upcoming winter transfer window.

4. Sofyan Amrabat

Sofyan Amrabat (Source - Twitter) Sofyan Amrabat (Source - Twitter)

Fiorentina midfielder Amrabat has been an immovable rock for the Atlas Lions at the Mundial. He has featured in all of his country's matches so far in the competition. He delivered world-class performances against some of the world's best sides, including Spain and Portugal.

5. Goncalo Ramos

Goncalo Ramos (Source - Twitter) Goncalo Ramos (Source - Twitter)

Portugal striker Goncalo Ramos remains the first and only player to score a hat-trick at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The Benfica forward caught the eye when he scored thrice against Switzerland in the Round of 16 after he was drafted in place of Cristiano Ronaldo.

#Football #FIFA World Cup