Young guns: Which breakout stars have impressed at the World Cup?

We take a look the lesser known players making a name for themselves in Qatar...

James Kellett
17th December 2022
Image: Wikimedia Commons
The FIFA World Cup is notoriously a global showcase of the world’s most popular sport, giving a multitude of players from various leagues an opportunity to flourish on the world-wide stage.

Since the inception of the tournament in 1930, many players have grasped the opportunity to play at a World Cup and used the competition to propel their careers. Ranging from Pelé dominating in 1958, to Mbappe displaying his flair in Russia, the World Cup has truly thrusted multiple players to greatness.As we approach the end of the tournament, here are some of the breakout stars of the 2022 edition:

Tyler Adams

As the youngest captain at the competition and the youngest USA captain since 1950, the responsibility Adams shouldered was rather large for a player aged just 23. It must be noted in the four games he played, the maturity and professionalism he displayed was incredible. On the pitch, he anchored the midfield which allowed his midfield compatriots, Yunus Mensah and Weston McKennie, to break forward and create chances for the forwards. His professionalism was also demonstrated off the field, in a press conference before the USA’s group stage clash with Iran, an Iranian journalist called out Adams on his mispronunciation of Iran, followed up by a question on discrimination in the United States, he dealt with both in a classy manner by apologising for his mispronunciation, and answered his question with maturity and confidence by detailing US progress on how they combat discrimination.

Andries Noppert

A newcomer on the international scene, the 28-year-old goalkeeper has cemented himself as the Dutch number 1. Although they are well respected as a footballing nation, one component they currently lack is a genuine high-class keeper, ergo the Dutch gloves were majorly up for grabs during the build up to the tournament. Louis Van Gaal opted to give Noppert his shot on the world stage when he handed him his international debut in the Netherlands’ tournament opener against Senegal. Measuring at an immense 6 foot 8 inches, he has proven to be a solid addition in between the sticks, his large stature allows him to command his area shrewdly and use his long limbs to make stretching saves. Even though he may not reach the levels of Edwin Van Der Sar and Hans van Breukelen, there is good reason to believe he will be lining up for the Oranje for the foreseeable future, as well as attracting the attention of larger clubs outside of the Eredivise.

Harry Souttar

Having suffered an ACL injury during November 2021, the Aussie centre half's comeback is quite remarkable. Entering a group in which most tipped Australia to finish bottom, they were always going to require a sturdy back line. In spite of the fact France shipped four against them in their opening game, the Socceroos showed nerve in their final couple of games with two wins and two clean sheets. A significant contribution in their victory against Tunisia, being Souttar’s last ditch challenge on Taha Khenissi, which kept Australia’s lead intact and led them to their first World Cup finals win since 2010. He possesses the foundational qualities required to be a modern-day centre back, standing at 6 foot 6 inches he boasts aerial superiority, and has found success in his distribution, thus bringing into play his attacking input as a defender. It is quite simply phenomenal that Souttar has displayed high-octane effort and skill, when just over a year ago he had picked an injury that has stunted the development of various players.  

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AUTHOR: James Kellett
The Fairchild A10 Thunderbolt 2 has a single 30mm Gatling Cannon and two General Electric turbines. When it fires its gun and puts its engines to full it will actually accelerate backwards. That is how powerful it is.

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