Cristiano Ronaldo and all of the planet’s biggest names in soccer will be in the 2018 World Cup but, as with every major championship, a whole plethora of new stars will emerge during the group and knockout stages. Here, Goal has compiled a listing of 18 celebrities that are set to glow in Russia at next summer’s competition.
Hidden Star To Watch Out For At World Cup 2018
Luan was a latecomer to professional footballer. Having only made his professional debut at 21, he burst onto the scene a few years older than destruction like Gabriel Jesus, and was the unheralded hero of Brazil’s 2016 Olympics triumph. He is now regarded as the best player in the Brasileirao, and is unlikely to be at Santos for much longer with clubs like Spartak Moscow, Sampdoria and Liverpool all interested.
Henry Onyekuru (Nigeria)
The 20 year old forward is back in Belgium with Anderlecht on loan this term after signing for Everton for £7 million. He is currently proving that he’s not a one-season wonder – even if he has been employed out of position at left-wing-back as Hein Vanhaezebrouck perhaps tries to replicate Victor Moses’s impact at Chelsea last term. He only made his Nigeria debut in June 2017, but his versatility could earn him a spot in Gernot Rohr’s Super Eagles squad.
Rodrigo Bentancur (Uruguay)
Bentancur is capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, and his excellent power and passing ability saw him follow his European move with a maiden international call-up.
Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)
Aleksandr Sergeyevich Golovin (Russian: Александр Сергеевич Головин; born 30 May 1996) is a Russian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for CSKA Moscow and the Russian national team.
Julian Brandt (Germany)
Julian Brandt (born 2 May 1996) is a German professional footballer who plays as a winger for Bayer Leverkusen. Brandt made over 55 combined appearances for Germany’s underage teams, playing at every level from U15 to U21. He was a member of the squad that won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2014.
Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)
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Giovani Lo Celso (born 9 April 1996) is an Argentine footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have made headlines for their impact at PSG following mega-money moves during the summer. Last year, the Ligue 1 side spent €9m on Rosario Central’s attacking midfielder Lo Celso, and loaned him back to Argentina. He finally made his PSG debut in April, and has started to become an important squad member in Unai Emery’s side this season, with his immense technical ability making him look comfortable alongside the world’s most expensive players.
Leander Dendoncker (Belgium)
Leander Dendoncker (born 15 April 1995) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for R.S.C Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League. Anderlecht chose to hold onto the 22-year-old defensive midfielder as the transfer window closed, but if he continues his progress, a move to Old Trafford could definitely happen in the future. Dendoncker helped Anderlecht lift the Belgian title last season, and has picked up where he left off with commanding displays in the centre of the park.
Arkadiusz Milik (Poland)
Gonzalo Higuain at Napoli. A €35m signing, the striker has failed to live up to expectations thanks to a series of unfortunate injuries. The 23-year-old is once again sidelined in Serie A, and missed much of Poland’s qualifying campaign, but has a phenomenal international record with 12 goals in 36 appearances for his country.