Football is a team sport that requires the collective to function well to attain a favorable result. When a team wins, it is due to the hard work and effort of the eleven, but fans and pundits tend to credit specific individuals on most occasions. The likes of Mbappe, Haaland, Messi and Ronaldo grab all the spotlight, but their teammates are often overlooked.
While football fans fixate on stats like assists and goals, the value of some players cannot be measured through numbers.
On that note, let's look at:
5 of the most underrated superstars in football
#5 Georginio Wijnaldum
Liverpool's midfield maestro, Georginio Wijnaldum, is an irreplaceable presence in the heart of the Liverpool team. The Reds have won the Premier League and Champions League since he arrived in Merseyside.
Credit for the team's success has often gone to the Liverpool front three. While the trio of Salah, Mane and Firmino have notched up goals, the midfield, led by Wijnaldum, has been crucial in transitioning play from defense to attack. He is a solid presence in front of Liverpool's defense and has absorbed some pressure off the inexperienced pairing of Kabak and Phillips.
The Dutchman is also a forceful presence in the air, with 48 aerial duels won and 68 tackles to his name in the 2020/21 Premier League season. Along with this, he has an awe-inspiring 94% pass completion rate in the final third.
#5 Angel Di Maria
Di Maria has been one of the first names on the team-sheet for the Parisians ever since his move from Manchester United. The Argentine acts as the energy source that allows Neymar and Mbappe to flourish. Di Maria is known to be extremely creative with the football.
Operating mainly as a winger, Di Maria adds width and is a dangerous presence on the flanks. It also allows Neymar and Mbappe to operate more centrally. While the superstar duo receive all the plaudits from fans and pundits, Di Maria often slips under the radar. The Argentine is supremely skilled with the ball at his feet and has extreme precision while delivering crosses into the final third.
Di Maria has one of the highest pass competitions for a forward, at 80%. The former Champions League winner has been involved in 21 goals (6 goals and 15 assists) from 36 appearances this season.