FIFA WC 2022: Players to watch out for in semi-finals
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is reaching its end-game, with the semi-finals set to kick-off on December 14 (12:30 AM IST). Argentina overcame Netherlands to book a seat in the last four. The Albicelestes will be raring to oust 2018 runners-up Croatia. France face the tournament's dark horses in Morocco a day later. Here are the players to look out for in the semi-finals.
Kylian Mbappe (France)
Kylian Mbappe is the front-runner to bag the Golden Boot award in the 2022 edition. The Paris Saint-Germain forward tops the scoring charts, with five goals in as many matches. As per Opta, each of those goals has come from within the box. The 23-year-old has created nine chances, including two assists. Mbappe has already raced to nine WC goals, surpassing Argentina's Diego Maradona.
Antoine Griezmann (France)
Former Barcelona ace Antoine Griezmann has been a rock-solid campaigner on the offensive front. He has the most assists by a French player in the 2022 World Cup (3). He has had four starts in Qatar, completing 318 touches and 24 ball recoveries, besides a staggering 17 chances for the reigning champions. Greizmann has taken five shots with three on target.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Lionel Messi's talismanic abilities have been a pivotal contributor to Argentina's run to the semi-finals in Qatar. The 35-year-old is their highest scorer in the 2022 edition, with four goals in five matches besides two assists. He has converted twice from the spot. The PSG ace has attempted 22 shots with 12 on target. Besides, he has created 16 chances and completed 11 take-ons.
Luka Modric (Croatia)
Veteran midfielder Luka Modric has kept Croatia's World Cup hopes alive in Qatar. The 2018 Golden Ball recipient is going strong even at 37. He has attempted four shots with one on target. He has completed 330 passes at 88.47% accuracy. Modric, who is Croatia's most-capped player in the WC, has made 12 tackles, eight interceptions, and two blocks in the 2022 edition.
Youssef En-Nesyri (Morocco)
Youssef En-Nesyri has been a stand-out performer for the Atlas Lions upfront. The Sevilla striker is their leading goal-scorer, with two goals in five matches, including a header. He has made 111 touches and 11 ball recoveries. En-Nesyri's aerial abilities need a mention. The 25-year-old has contested 30 aerial duels, winning on 16 instances. He has recorded nine clearances besides one interception.