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World Cup 2022: 12 best players competing in Qatar, from Mbappe to De Bruyne

Jason Burgos
world cup 2022
Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

World Cup 2022 will be the biggest sporting event in the world this year. A major reason for this is the tournament pulls in all of the best athletes from the most popular athletes from the top leagues in the game.

Many of the top players from the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Liga MX, and MLS will take part in the once every four years event in Qatar. If you plan to watch the tournament, take a look at our World Cup FAQ, and get a rundown of the World Cup schedule for your favorite team.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the superstars competing in the globally watched event in November and December.

Kylian Mbappe

Many view Kylian Mbappe as the best player in the world today. The Paris St-Germain star will be representing France, as they look to win a second straight Cup title in 2022. Mbappe was just a teenager when he was a part of the 2018 team that brought the Jules Rimet Trophy back to France.

  • Kylian Mbappe stats (World Cup): 7 games, 4 goals, 1 assist

Lionel Messi

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Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Messi has been one of the best players on the planet over the last decade and will go down as one of the greatest soccer athletes of all time. However, the one title that has evaded him in his career is the World Cup. He will lead Argentina at World Cup 2022 as they try to win their first championship since 1986. This will be his fifth World Cup tourney.

  • Lionel Messi stats (World Cup): 19 games, 6 goals, 5 assists

Karim Benzema

Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema will be joining Mbappe on France’s national team and is just another reason they are one of the favorites this year. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner — soccer’s world MVP award — was not a part of the championship team in 2018 and will be seeking out redemption in his third World Cup as France aims to be the first repeat winners since Brazil did it in 1958 and 1962.

  • Karim Benzema: 5 games, 3 goals, 2 assists

Weston McKennie

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Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Midfielder Weston McKennie is one of USA soccer’s great hopes. The Juventus talent will look to help fill the shoes of previous American World Cup stars like Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore as the player the team will need to play at an elite level if they hope to move out of the round-robin stage and into the elimination rounds — a rarity for US soccer. There is a lot of pressure on the 23-year-old star in his first appearance in the tournament.

  • Weston McKennie stats (World Cup) 0 games, 0 goals, 0 assists

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne is the heart and soul of powerhouse English Premier League club Manchester City. But for World Cup 2022, he will be leading the Belgium side as they attempt to win their first Cup title. This will be his third appearance in the Cup event, and he earned six points for his efforts in 2014 and 2018.

  • Kevin De Bruyne stats (World Cup): 10 games, 2 goals, 4 assists

Neymar

PSG superstar Neymar will once again represent his native Brazil on the World Cup 2022 schedule. This will be the third trip to the event for Brazil’s best player of the last two decades. In 2014 he led the team to a third-place finish in Germany, but Brazil only reached the quarterfinals in 2018. They are a favorite to win World Cup 2022.

  • Neymar stats (World Cup): 10 games, 6 goals, 2 assists

Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane will be championing the English flag at World Cup 2022. The 29-year-old will be England’s captain and aiming to bring his soccer-loving nation their first Cup title since 1966. This will be his second Cup event and he averaged a goal a match in 2018.

  • Harry Kane stats (World Cup): 6 games, 6 goals

Guillermo Ochoa

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Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Mexican soccer great Guillermo Ochoa will compete in this year’s World Cup. It will be his fifth and likely final appearance in the legendary tournament. The goalkeeper from Guadalajara will head into the event as one of the best at his position and one of the most experienced players in the tournament. Ochoa will surely keep Mexico competitive throughout the 2022 World Cup due to his immense talent.

  • Guillermo Ochoa stats (World Cup): 8 games, 3 clean sheets

Cristiano Ronaldo

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will take the field for Portugal again in 2022 as they seek their first Cup title. The aging great is in the midst of a dispute with EPL club Machester United, and some believe a strong showing in the tournament could help his chances of finding a transfer out of the English league.

Like Messi, this will also be his fifth World Cup.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo stats (World Cup): 17 games, 7 goals, 2 assists

Robert Lewandowski

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FC Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski will be leading Poland into World Cup 2022 as the team’s biggest star and captain. The 34-year-old king of Polish soccer will enter the event looking for his first goal in just his second appearance at the tourney and hoping to shock the world to bring Poland their first World Cup title.

  • Robert Lewandowski stats (World Cup): 3 games, 0 goals

Son Heung-min

Despite recent eye surgery, South Korea’s top soccer export, and current Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min is set to take the field for his nation at this year’s tournament. Despite the serious injury, Heung-min will be making the trip to compete in his third World Cup hoping to get South Korea into an elimination round for the first time.

  • Son Heung-min stats (World Cup): 6 games, 3 goals

Pedro “Pedri” González López

FC Barcelona star Pedro González López will be in Qatar for this year’s event to represent his native Spain. The man nicknamed “Pedri” look to help Spain get their second Cup trophy after earning the country’s first at the 2010 event. This will be the 19-year-old phenoms first World Cup appearance.

  • Pedri stats (World Cup): 0 goals, 0 assists