With the 2018 FIFA World Cup just two days away, here is a look at eleven of the highest scorers set to lead their respective countries in Russia.
This piece takes a look at these players who played key roles during the crucial and lengthy world cup qualifying series.
That means the likes of Argentina’s forward, Lionel Messi, France’s Antoine Griezmann and world most expensive player, Neymar of Brazil, miss out after coming short.
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Messi only managed seven goals for Argentina, who struggled throughout the qualifiers, while Griezmann and Neymar found the back of the net four and six times for France and Brazil respectively.
So, who made our World Cup Eleven team?
Robert Lewandowski, Poland
Lewandowski emerged joint-top scorer alongside Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Al-Sahlai and United Arab Emirates’ Ahmed Khalil.
🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski has scored 8 goals in his last 5 games for Poland. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/CHXjRkfC5g
— European Qualifiers (@EuroQualifiers) October 9, 2017
The 29-year-old scored four goals in Poland’s last two games against Montenegro and Armenia to not only become the highest scorer in Europe but also set a new all-time record goals in a single qualifying series in the continent with 16goals.
Saudi’s Al-Sahlai picked the Asian accolade, which he shared with Khalil, who misses out on this list as the UAE failed to qualify for the tournament in Russia.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Portuguese forward and five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo, scored 15goals to help the reigning European champions book their place in Russia.
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo in Group B for Portugal:
— European Qualifiers (@EuroQualifiers) October 10, 2017
The talismanic Real Madrid star remains his country’s most potent player, and they will be banking on him to also deliver the goods in Vladimir Putin’s country.
Up next on the list, the English Premier League duo of Christian Eriksen and Romelu Lukaku. Both players netted 11goals apiece for Denmark and Belgium.
Tim Cahill, Australia
Veteran forward, Tim Cahill finds himself on our list, after his 11goals helped Australia seal a third consecutive World Cup appearance.
The Socceroos will need all that firepower from the former Everton man to navigate a group that includes giants like France and Denmark.
Sardar Azmoun, Iran
The hope of Iran lies solely on the shoulders and feet of Rubin Kazan’s 22-year-old star, Sardar Azmoun. The youngster scored 11goals, same as the likes of Lukaku and Cahill, to seal Iran’s place in Russia.
With a group that includes Spain and Portugal, Azmoun and Iran, who were the third side to book their ticket to Russia, have their work seriously cut out.
To complete our list are the quartet of Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani, ten goals, Portugal’s Andre Silva, nine goals, Mehdi Taremi of Iran, with eight goals, alongside Marcus Berg Sweden, whose goals helped Sweden shock 2006 winners, Italy.
— European Qualifiers (@EuroQualifiers) November 13, 2017
Berg; Taremi, Cavani, Azmoun, Silva, Eriksen, Lukaku, Cahill, Al-Sahlai, Ronaldo, Lewandowski
Did I leave someone out? Do get in touch via the comments section below as I’d love to know your thought(s).