5) Diego Godin
Diego Godin easily ranks among the best central defenders in the world for the last decade or so. The Uruguayan has been at the heart of the Atletico defence that has won them so many accolades. And while the season wasn’t Godin’s best, it did end with him holding a Europa league title. Now entering the wrong side of his career, the World Cup presents a last opportunity for Godin to make an everlasting impact. Perhaps, ending the international career with a trophy will be a thing of dreams.
4) Jose Gimenez
While Gimenez’s growth has somewhat hit a block this season, there is little doubt about the talent and quality the defender has. Unlike the last few seasons, where Gimenez kept Miranda on the bench for Atletico, this season he found himself warming the bench as Simeone preferred to go with Savic and Godin. Still 23 though, Gimenez has his entire career in front of him. The World cup could provide the necessary impetus for a relaunch.
3) Rodrigo Bentacur
Highly rated in Italy, Bentacur had a fine first season with the Bianconeri. His style of play has drawn comparisons with Nemanja MaticHis maturity was on display against Real Madrid, when despite the poor result, he was one of Juve’s best performer in the match. The 20-year central midfielder is still young enough to have the expectations of a nation on his back, but now is the time for Bentacur to show his mettle.
2) Edinson Cavani
Cavani has been truly unleashed at Paris Saint Germain since Zlatan left the club couple of seasons ago. This season, Cavani bagged a massive 40 goals in 49 games in all competitions as he formed a ferocious partnership with Neymar and Mbappe. However, his rift with Neymar has accelerated rumours of a move away from PSG, with the likes of Chelsea now circling around for his signature. The 31-year old now has a final chance of making an impact for the national side at the World Cup. While he may not be the talisman for Uruguay, the striker will be a crucial figure as Uruguay look to end their decades of wait for the World Cup.
The former Ajax man has evolved into a world class striker since making the move to Liverpool back in 2011. At Anfield, after a mixed start, Suarez came to life in the 2013-14 season where he nearly won the Reds’ their first title before a remarkable defeat at Palace ended their hopes. The Uruguayan left the club for Barca the following season where he has since gotten even better. This season was unarguably not his best where for large parts, he struggled for form. Nevertheless, Suarez still managed to score more than 20 goals for the Catalans as they regained the La Liga title. Suarez has been a part of two of the major controversies in each of the last two editions, with his handball against Ghana in 2010 and then biting Chiellini in the 2014 edition. Expect more of the same from the striker this time as well.
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