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Stu Holden’s top 50 players at World Cup 2022


In November, up to 832 of the best soccer players in the world will travel to Qatar with the hope of lifting the World Cup for their country. Of that group, there’s a clear top tier.

To prepare for the 22nd rendition of the tournament and the wealth of talent that will be participating, FOX Sports soccer analyst and former USMNT midfielder Stu Holden is counting down the 50 best players that are expected to be at the 2022 World Cup. This story will be updated as the countdown progresses.

50. Raúl Jiménez

As long as he’s fit and in form, Jiménez will be a factor in Mexico’s attack.

Will Tata count on Jiménez?

Stu Holden explains why Mexico’s Raul Jimenez’s is ranked No. 50.

49. Yunus Musah

Only 19 years old, Yunus Musah can be one of the breakout stars of this year’s World Cup.

Yunus Musah is invaluable to USA

USMNT’s Yunus Musah is known for his technical abilities, movement and strength.

48. Hirving Lozano

Chucky Lozano brings a level of experience and reliability to a young Mexico team.

Chucky Lozano is the key for Mexico

Mexico’s Hirving Lozano is known for his speed, dribbling and finishing.

47. Christian Eriksen

Following a health scare at Euro 2020, Christian Eriksen’s return to the World Cup with Denmark promises to be something special.

Christian Eriksen is back

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen is known for his passing, technical abilities, and set pieces.

46. Timo Werner

It’s going to take a lot to beat Germany if Timo Werner is finishing his chances in Qatar.

Timo Werner is Germany’s X-Factor

Germany’s Timo Werner is known for his speed, movement and finishing.

45. Aurélien Tchouaméni

If France are better in 2022 than they were in 2018, it’s likely that Aurélien Tchouaméni will be one of the main reasons.

France have a young star in Aurélien Tchouaméni

France’s Aurélien Tchouaméni is known for his passing, endurance and technical ability.

44. Darwin Núñez

Can Liverpool’s £85 million man breathe new life into an aging Uruguay side?

Uruguay found their new No. 9

Uruguay’s Darwin Núñez is known for his finishing, physicality and technical ability.

43. Édouard Mendy

Édouard Mendy’s stock can continue its rapid ascent with a strong showing at the World Cup.

Mendy makes Senegal scary

Senegal’s Edouard Mendy is known for his size, shot-stopping and crosses.

42. Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale finally got Wales back to the World Cup — now the real work begins for the five-time Champions League winner.

Can Bale deliver Wales a World Cup?

Wales’ Gareth Bale is known for his technical ability, speed and finishing.

41. Weston McKennie

McKennie is the engine that makes the USMNT go.

McKennie’s energy is vital for the U.S.

USMNT’s Weston McKennie is known for his physicality, technical ability and aerial ability.

40. Memphis Depay

The Netherlands will heavily rely on Depay — their star striker — for goals at the World Cup.

Depay is Holland’s star striker

Netherlands’ Memphis Depay is known for his finishing, technical ability and confidence.

39. Christian Pulisic

Pulisic has stepped up for the USMNT on the international stage time and time again. Will he do it again at the World Cup?

Christian Pulisic is “Captain America”

USMNT’s Christian Pulisic is known for his finishing, technical ability and speed.

38. Kingsley Coman

After missing out on the fun in 2018, Kingsley Coman will finally get the chance to make his mark on France at the World Cup.

Coman strengthens France’s attack

France’s Kingsley Coman is known for his speed, dribbling and crossing.

37. Christopher Nkunku

Knunku can reach superstar status with a strong showing at the World Cup.

France’s super-sub

France’s Christopher Nkunku is known for his finishing, speed and passing.

36. Antonio Rüdiger

Nothing will come easy for Germany’s opponents with Antonio Rüdiger leading the back line.

Germany’s enforcer

Germany’s Antonio Rüdiger is known for his tackling, strength and aerial ability.

35. Rodri

Rodri isn’t the flashiest player in Spain’s midfield, but his role is vital to its success.

Spain’s defensive stalwart

Spain’s Rodri is known for his positioning, tackling and passing.

34. Dušan Vlahović

Serbia finally have a star striker to lead their formidable attack.

Serbia’s star man

Serbia’s Dusan Vlahovic is known for his finishing, movement and aerial ability.

33. Lisandro Martinez

After completing a move to Manchester United in the summer, Martinez will face his biggest challenge yet: leading Argentina’s defense at the World Cup.

Argentina’s defensive anchor

Argentina’s Lisandro Martinez is known for his positioning, passing and tackling.

32. Gavi

Gavi was this year’s Golden Boy winner. Will he also nab Young Player of the Tournament at the World Cup?

Spain’s second Golden Boy

Spain’s Gavi is known for his technical ability, passing and endurance.

31. Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva raises the ceiling of Portugal’s attack with his perfect passing.

Portugal’s playmaking master

Bernardo Silva is known for his passing, positioning and technical ability.

30. Ángel Di María

Di María’s proven track record at the World Cup will be valuable to Argentina’s attack.

Argentina’s veteran winger

Argentina’s Ángel Di María is known for his speed, finishing and passing.

29. Frenkie De Jong

Frenkie De Jong will be flying all from end-to-end in the Dutch’s midfield.

The Dutch’s engine

Frenkie de Jong is known for his movement, passing and technical ability.

28. Rodrigo De Paul

De Paul has an important role to play in Argentina’s midfield, and it’s not just protecting Lionel Messi at all costs.

Argentina’s enforcer

Rodrigo De Paul is known for his endurance, tackling and passing.

27. Marquinhos

Marquinhos will lead Brazil from the back at the World Cup.

Brazil’s defensive leader

Marquinhos is known for his smarts, technical ability and positioning.

26. Alphonso Davies

There’s no slowing down the Canadian superstar.

Canada’s silver bullet

Alphonso Davies is known for his speed, technical ability and crossing.

25. Alisson

Along with their tried and true defense, Brazil will have one of the best shot-stoppers in the world in their goal at the World Cup.

Brazil’s Allison: No. 25 | Stu Holden’s Top 50 Players in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup

Allison is known for his reflexes, saves and distribution.

24. Bruno Fernandes

Between Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva, Portugal’s strikers will have no shortage of opportunities in front of goal.

Portugal’s midfield maestro

Bruno Fernandes is known for his technical ability, passing, and finishing.

23. Rúben Dias

After being buried on the bench at the 2018 World Cup, Rúben Dias will be one of the top center-backs at the 2022 World Cup.

Portugal’s brick wall

Rúben Dias is known for his strength, aerial ability and organization.

22. Romelu Lukaku

If healthy, Big Rom will have the opportunity to show how he got his nickname.

Belgium’s target man

Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku is known for his finishing, aerial ability and strength.

21. Phil Foden

Phil Foden’s first World Cup promises to be a memorable one.

England’s present and future.

Phil Foden is known for his passing, technical ability, movement and earns the 21st spot on Stu Holden’s Top 50 Players in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

20. Thomas Müller

After disappointing at the 2018 World Cup, Thomas Müller can finally get his legendary World Cup career back on track.

Germany’s master or movement

Thomas Müller is known for his positioning, finishing and movement.

19. Lautaro Martínez

The shifty striker will make Argentina’s attack more dynamic.

Argentina’s dart

Lautaro Martinez is known for his movement, finishing and technical ability.

18. Casemiro

You can expect Casemiro to bring some grit to Brazil’s midfield.

Brazil’s defensive star

Brazil’s Casemiro is known for his tackling, positioning and passing.

17. Thibaut Courtois

Courtois’ acrobatic saves will be back on the World Cup stage.

Belgium’s big blocker

Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois is known for his size, reflexes and technical ability.

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