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5 players who surprised everyone in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Who has been the biggest surprise performer in the World Cup qualifiers?
Who has been the biggest surprise performer in the World Cup qualifiers?
ANALYST

National teams across the world have been involved in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers since 2019, and many players have left their marks while representing their countries.

Hosts Qatar alongside 2014 champions Germany were the first teams to confirm their participation in the competition billed to be held in November 2022. They were soon joined by Denmark, reigning world champions France, 2010 champions Spain, Serbia, 2018 finalists Croatia and the number one ranked team in the world Belgium.

Brazil booked their place from the CONMEBOL region, making them the first and only team from the region to qualify for the competition so far

Some great individual performances have helped teams in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Several teams have benefitted largely due to certain consistent performers within their ranks. On that note, here is a list of five players who surprised everyone with their performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.


#5 Felix Torres

Venezuela v Ecuador - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Venezuela v Ecuador - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Ecuador's 24-year-old defender Felix Torres has been one of the stars of the South American nation's impressive performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. The Santos Laguna defender has made an immense difference for his national team as they aim to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

#GustavoAlfaro: 🗣️ ”Cuando me vaya dejaré una mejor selección 🇪🇨 que antes” "Con (Félix) Torres y (Piero) Hincapié tenemos una dupla de centrales para 10 años". 🤔¿Están de acuerdo?👇#BarcelonaSC #Bustos #Guayaquil #LigaProEC #Cromaclic #Ecuador #eliminatoriassudamericanas https://t.co/326f12sPnw

The defender has played in seven of the 13 qualifying matches and helped his team keep clean sheets in five of them. He has maintained a passing accuracy of 81 per cent across the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for his side. Notably, he also scored the opening goal of a 2-0 win over Paraguay in the 88th minute of the game. He has won 68 per cent of his contested duels and caught the eye with his assured displays, with zero errors committed in all his matches.

Torres completed 2.3 interceptions per 90 minutes for the Ecuador side that are currently in third place in the CONMEBOL standings behind Brazil and Argentina. Ecuador has only lost two of the matches Torres has played in in the CONMEBOL 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.


#4 Enis Bardhi

Enis Bardhi in action for North Macedonia
Enis Bardhi in action for North Macedonia

Levante midfielder Enis Bardhi has been one of the most impressive performers in the UEFA region of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for North Macedonia.

The 26-year-old midfielder played a decisive role in helping his less-heralded North Macedonia side reach the playoffs for the first time ever after they finished second in Group J.

1996 - Enis Bardhi is the first player to score a qualifying (World Cup/EUROs) hat-trick for North Macedonia in 25 years and 2 days, since Dejvi Glavevski's against Liechtenstein in 1996. Informative.

Bardhi scored four goals and made two assists in eight games for North Macedonia in Group J of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Three of his goals came in a 5-0 win over Armenia.

The midfielder created five big chances for his team-mates and memorably helped with an assist for Goran Pandev in their 2-1 win over Germany in March.

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Edited by Nived Zenith

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