Enzo Fernández, Dominik Livaković, Sofyan Amrabat, Joško Gvardiol, and Cody Gakpo were some players who stood out in Qatar 2022 above what was expected in the top World Cup event.
Photos: IG-enzojfernandez, IG-dominiklivakovic40, IG-doanritsu
LatinAmerican Post | Nicolás Donoso Álvarez
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Qatar 2022 has come to an end, with a historic Argentina that was crowned world champion for the third time in its history as a result of four wins, two draws, and one loss. Surprising results, teams that stood out, others that were disappointed, and heart attack braces, were part of the greatest football event. Some footballers were revelations throughout the tournament. In the following article, we show you eight players who are part of the category of surprised soccer players.
Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)
The list had to start with a world champion. Enzo Fernández has made himself known to the world with Benfica in Portugal this season, and although he did not start Argentina's first two games in this World Cup, he has not left Lionel Scaloni's eleven since the third game. At the age of 21, the midfielder proved dangerous by constantly stepping into the rival area, scoring a goal against Mexico (2-0), and was voted the best young player of the championship. Messi, Álvarez, Di María, Otamendi, and Emiliano Martínez were decisive for the trans-Andean title, but Fernández was not far behind.
Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)
One of the great people responsible for taking Morocco to the semifinals and transforming the "Lions of the Atlas" into the first African team to reach that stage was Sofyan Amrabat. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder became a specialist in winning individual duels, stealing balls, and giving moments of calm to a team that found its main strength in defensive solidity. He plays for Fiorentina, but rumors have placed him in Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, or in the Premier League.
Dominik Livakovic (Croatia)
For the second consecutive World Cup, Croatia was on the podium, and one of its most outstanding figures was the 27-year-old goalkeeper Dominik Livaković. The goalkeeper conceded seven goals in seven games. Still, with his great reflexes, good positioning, and significant presence in the two penalty shootouts he had to face ( against Japan in the round of 16 he blocked three penalties, and against Brazil in the quarterfinals one ) showed all his forcefulness so that Croatia got into the semifinals.
Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)
With three goals in five games, Cody Gakpo, a 23-year-old left winger, was essential for the Netherlands, in its return to a World Cup after missing Russia 2018, to reach the quarterfinals. Although all the goals were scored in the first phase, England they are looking for the Dutchman, who seems to be further from PSV, his current club, than ever. He can also play as a center forward or second striker, an aspect to consider.
Ritsu Doan (Japan)
The skilled right winger from Japan and current player for German Freiburg, 24, alternated starts with substitutions, but always made a difference. From the bench, he scored Japan's momentary draw against Germany on the first date (Japan won 2-1), and in the last game of the group stage he scored the temporary 1-1 against Spain (Japan won 2-1). . If Japan surprised in one of the most difficult groups in the World Cup and came close to reaching the quarterfinals for the first time, it was thanks to the power of Ritsu Dōan.
Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco)
A second footballer from Morocco to appear on the list and is also a midfielder. Azzedine Ounahi, a 22-year-old midfielder from Angers, became one of the most outstanding young players in the World Cup and can boast of having eliminated Belgium, Spain, and Portugal. The Angers man was vital in midfield with his agility, good technique passes to avoid rival pressure, and good positioning. In addition, to the previously mentioned conditions, its oriented control and its orientation changes are added. His destination seems to be far from France and closer to Spain or England, countries where they are looking for him.
Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
A sense of location, good positioning, impassable from high to low, and a good ball output, characteristics that Joško Gvardiol, a 20-year-old center-back for Leipzig, demonstrated in this cup, and which have led him to the top. Gvardiol throughout the tournament has added actions of great merit, and with inappropriate temperance for a defender of such a young age. Outstanding was his presentation in the first phase, then he had convincing displays against Japan and Brazil and, although he did not look good against Argentina in the semifinals, for the third place he scored a goal in the victory of his team against Morocco and was chosen the best player of that commitment. A promising future.
Goncalo Ramos (Portugal)
Gonçalo Ramos is 21 years old, the Benfica center forward who started this World Cup as a substitute for Cristiano Ronaldo, but who ended up as a starter and was important with his goals for Portugal to reach the quarterfinals. He only started in the eleventh round and quarterfinals, and it was against Switzerland, in the round of the best sixteen, where his goalscoring ability surprised everyone. In what was one of the collective and individual exhibitions of Qatar 2022, Portugal easily thrashed Switzerland 6-1 in the round of 16, and Ramos scored a hat trick, becoming the second footballer to achieve it in this edition, along with Kylian Mbappé, neither more nor less.