Although the FIFA 2022 World Cup was not without its fair share of controversy in the run-up to the competition, now that the tournament has kicked off, it’s safe to say that the focus is very much on football once again. And while it is still very much early days in the competition, the group stages have already seen some incredible displays of football!
As we have come to expect from a tournament like the World Cup, there have already been some big shocks, dramatic upsets and stunning displays of skill. Of particular note so far are Saudi Arabia and Japan, who both managed to shock the world when they secured victories over Argentina and Germany, respectively.
These kinds of unpredictable results are exactly what we love so much about tournaments like this. And for betting fans, in particular, they give you the opportunity to secure those much sought-after outlier bets, placed by many who use ThePuntersPage.
The World Cup isn’t just about the results that teams manage to secure, however. It is also about having the opportunity to see the world’s best football players tested in what can often be difficult playing conditions. And part of what makes the World Cup such compelling to watch is that it is often the players you least expect to do well who end up taking the tournament by storm!
With this in mind, and looking ahead to the rest of the tournament, who are the standout players of the 2022 World Cup so far?
Antoine Griezmann (France)
As one of the most well-known names on the French national team, it is perhaps little surprise that there was already a lot of expectation placed on Griezmann going into the tournament. Fortunately for the forward, he has largely been living up to it!
In their group-stage match against Australia, Griezmann managed to secure high ratings among fans and pundits alike, despite not securing any goals or direct assists.
Nevertheless, Griezmann has proved pivotal to the French squad’s success so far. And this was certainly clear in their match against Australia, in which he racked up a total of 88 touches, six pivotal passes and four attempted goals.
Griezmann put on an equally impressive display in France’s second group stage match against Denmark when The Blues secured a relatively unchallenged victory.
Kylian Mbappé (France)
Kylian Mbappé is another French player who has also largely lived up to the high expectations fans and pundits had of him.
Mbappé is easily one of France’s most well-known players. Despite being just 23 years old, he has already established himself as one of the country’s greatest sporting talents.
Nowhere has this talent been more conspicuous than in France’s two group-stage matches, with Mbappé helping to catapult The Blues into the next round of the tournament.
Mbappé secured one of four goals against Australia in their opening game, in addition to two stunning goals against Denmark. And with three goals to his name after just two matches, Mbappé is already looking like he might be the top goal scorer of the entire 2022 World Cup!
Bukayo Saka (England)
Another young player who has already proved himself as having top-scorer potential is England’s Bukayo Saka.
As a player, Saka is known for the incisiveness of his attacking, the creativity of his plays and the pure skill he so effortlessly displays on the pitch. All of these traits have been on full display during the 2022 World Cup so far, with Saka already proving central to the English team
Saka secured two goals in England’s opening match against Iran, which they ultimately won with a 6-2 margin. And while the English squad didn’t perform well against the USA team in their second group stage match, Saka still managed to have a decent game, despite the lack of goals.
Enner Valencia (Ecuador)
Despite not being the bookies’ favourite to win the tournament, the Ecuadorean national team still have an incredibly adept squad, with a deep bench of talented players. Of these, Enner Valencia has already established himself as a standout player among a talented squad.
Valencia managed to secure two goals in their opening match against the hosts, Qatar. He added another goal to this tally in their second match against the Netherlands, which they drew 1-1.
These two performances have given Valencia a decent start in the race to the Golden Boot, with many pundits already predicting that he will be awarded the title of highest goal scorer when the tournament draws to a close.