Now that the tournament in Qatar has finally started and the ball is rolling, you realize how many great players will ultimately miss the tournament.
This becomes especially clear when you take a look at the Ballon d’Or list. Award-winning Karim Benzema is missing, as is second-placed Sadio Mané, who was also honored as Africa’s best player this year. Both suffered serious injuries shortly before the start of the tournament
With Mohamed Salah and Erling Haaland, two more players from the top 10 are missing – but only because their countries didn’t qualify
Many injured Top players
The injury plight, however, is evident in many countries. World champions France, for example, are missing not only Benzema but also Nkunku, who’s in particularly good form, as well as several important players such as Pogba, Kanté, and Kimpembe. Left-back Lucas Hernandez injured himself in the first match and will be out for the rest of the World Cup
Other stars who won’t play in this World Cup: Timo Werner, Marco Reus, Florian Wirtz (all Germany), Diogo Jota (Portugal), Reece James, Ben Chilwell (England) or Coutinho (Brazil).
Who wins the Golden Boot?
With the loss of these stars, the odds on the best player for underdog betting have become interesting. Of course, there are still stars like Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar – but here we’ve some interesting high-priced outsiders for you
Jude Bellingham (England) @29.00
He’s only 19 years old and already leading the England national team
Bernardo Silva (Portugal) @41.00
Portugal has an even more golden generation than ever before and Bernardo Silva can make Portugal forget about CR7
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) @51.00
Belgium is riding high – but needs Lukaku’s goals to win. And with plenty of goals, he’s a strong contender for the Golden Boot
Jamal Musiala (Germany) @67.00
Same age as Bellingham and the most efficient player in the Bundesliga. Some see him as a future Ballon D’Or winner. Internationally he’s still underestimated.
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