The FIFA World Cup in Russia has ended, and many agree that this has been one of the best tournaments of the modern game, as well as one of the highest scoring. Many of the best players play in the English Premier League (EPL). They have been instrumental in their team’s success in the World Cup, or shown extraordinary skill to become tournament heroes. Let’s have a look at the top EPL performers in the World Cup and see how they lit up the beautiful game.
The Tottenham Hotspur striker accumulated 6 goals in 7 games and won the Golden Boot award. After netting twice in the first half of their 5-0 win over Panama, Kane became the top English scorer at the World Cup in 28 years. He has broken a few records by becoming the first ever English player to score four goals in a World Cup group stage, therefore, topping Gary Lineker’s three at Mexico ’86 and Roger Hunt’s three in 1966.
Finishing in second place in a bid to win the Golden Boot, Manchester United’s 25-year-old imposing forward scored 4 goals in 7 games. Already considered Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer when he arrived in Russia, Lukaku only managed to cement that legacy at this World Cup. When Belgium faced Tunisia in their second-round group match, Lukaku had already broken the records of Ronaldo, Messi and Rooney, when they were at an equivalent age, with 38 international goals in 70 appearances for his country.
The Manchester United midfielder proved a formidable playmaker and an outstanding player throughout the tournament. His performance in the final against Croatia was exceptional, scoring the third goal and brilliantly setting up Kylian Mbappe with an inspired pass for the fourth. In their article on the World Cup final, Sporting News remarks how the tournament has become the platform for Pogba to be a star. He was instrumental in France’s victories as he participated in all aspects of the game from defence to attack and was the perfect, well-rounded midfielder.
The 26-year-old Liverpool forward almost missed his chance to play in the World Cup this year, due to a shoulder injury picked up a month earlier during the Champions League Final against Real Madrid. After an impressive qualifying run, Salah helped Egypt qualify for their first World Cup in 28 years. In the Guardian’s Golden Boot feature, Salah is listed as scoring 2 goals in 180 minutes of play, which translated to one goal per game. This was a great feat by a talented forward who wasn’t even supposed to play.
The Manchester City Argentine international striker is credited with 2 goals at this World Cup, one of which is surely to be a contender for goal of the tournament. The 29-year-old now has 88 international caps to his name with 38 goals scored. His (EPL) performance, however, speaks of a better player with 30 goals this past season, and he was key to City’s third EPL title. Argentina’s overall performance, however, left much to be desired this year. Ladbrokes detail’s Argentina’s poor run in their World Cup guide, with the team barely advancing out of the group stage with one win, a draw, and a loss to Croatia. Despite this, however, Agüero and Argentina bowed out in style; their round of 16 game against France will most probably be remembered as the best match of World Cup 2018, and perhaps one of the best of all time.