Your favourite team might have been knocked out, or perhaps soccer just isn’t your cup of tea, but we’ve found 4 handsome reasons why you should watch the last matches this week.
The 2018 FIFA Soccer World Cup is almost over, with only two semi-final matches left until the new champions are crowned on Sunday, July 15.
We’ve found 4 participants from the remaining teams that you’ll want to keep track of – not only are they easy on the eyes, but they are also highly skilled soccer players.
Here are few facts about these players for you to use as dinner party conversation this week…
Ruben Loftes-Cheek, England
London-born midfielder, Ruben Loftes-Cheek, made his debut at the World Cup this year in the 80th minute of England’s opening 2-1 victory against Tunisia.
Loftes-Cheek has displayed tremendous growth, despite his primary substitute position, and makes for a handsome player to keep an eye on in the future.
In their 15th World Cup, with their last win as champions in 1966, England’s national soccer team has continued to exceed expectations.
They are considered the third-youngest team at the finals this year with an average age of around 26 years old.
Antoine Griezmann, France
Antoine Griezmann’s role in this year’s squad as centre-forward and attacking midfielder (his second time representing France at the World Cup) has seen him deliver three goals in France’s three respective wins against Australia, Argentina, and Uruguay.
It is the fifth time in World Cup history that all four semi-finalist teams are European. And it is the first time since 2006’s championship that France’s national team has qualified again.
Šime Vrsaljko, Croatia
Šime Vrsaljko predominantly plays on the right flank, either as right-back or right-wing, and contributes significantly to Croatia’s defence.
Apart from his contract with the Spanish club Atlético Madrid, Vrsaljko also served as captain for the Croatian National Team in 2014 at the young age of 22.
To this day, Vrsaljko still remains one of the youngest players to have appeared in this role throughout the team’s history.
Croatia’s quarter-final match against Russia saw them up against a host team for the third time since their previous five World Cup appearances (previously against France in 1998 and Brazil in 2014).
Axel Witsel, Belgium
Axel Wistel made his international debut as midfielder for the National Team a decade ago during a 1-4 loss against Morocco in which Witsel also scored his first goal for Belgium.
The father-of-two appears as an attractive addition to the team, and is expected to fulfil his reputation as recipient of the Belgian Golden Shoe in 2008 at the upcoming finals.
Statistically, Belgium presently stands at the forefront of the FIFA championship as the only team to have won all of their matches in Russia thus far (a total of five).
- By features writer, Marike Watson