Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

World Cup choices by the man in the street

World Cup choices by the man in the street

"Mohamed Salah has reached a level that puts him alongside the greatest players", Hadji told Goal.

His rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest in football - nay any sport - and those that have watched the two duel it out week after week, competition after competition, will remember it for eternity.

The Seleccion looked unlikely to qualify for a 13th consecutive World Cup finals, after the Barcelona star man initially announced his worldwide retirement in 2016.

Sky Bet's market is a wide open one, with Neymar and Lionel Messi the joint 10/1 favourites, while the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Gabriel Jesus, Harry Kane, Timo Werner and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to be in contention.

Let's get the hard facts out of the way: Lionel Messi has never won a senior trophy for Argentina.

"It's not a huge problem for them because the players are so good that they pick themselves". "It's clear the boy doesn't know anything", Diego Maradona, Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning captain, said.

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"People talk about Ronaldo v Messi but the difference is there's another player who can do anything Ronaldo does - with the exception of hanging in the air for five minutes to head the ball". For one a tackle from behind was not considered a foul in stark contrast to the protection offered to players by officiating personnel in the modern era. "He has extraordinary players and a coach which has given him a plus", he added. "But there is so much more to football than just scoring goals", says Muhammad Butt, who works as features editor for football data specialists Squawka.

"I was lucky to play against him when I was in Spain".

It can also be argued that defenders in the golden era were not as technically gifted as the defenders today and that makes it more hard for a player with silky skills such as Messi to shine through. The modern maestro turns 31 during the tournament and this may be his last chance to win the cup for his country.

Dalic will feel that qualification from the group stages is a must, but in one of the more hard pools in the tournament, Croatia will have to be on their game if they are to reach the knockout round.

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