World Cup 2018: 5 Premier League players from underdog nations who could become national heroes
Every four years, the world sees the advent of a few stars as they propel their team and a country's dreams to soaring heights. The FIFA World Cup always provides us with individual brilliance from a whole host of players. Be it a world-class champion, a young up-and-comer, or a new superstar from out of the blue, the World Cup is a platform which creates stars for life like no other platform.
Over the course of a month, a nation could have their entire fortunes being turned around. Players become stars and are forever remembered in football history. The unfancied countries usually have some stellar talent within their team. It is up to what those stellar talents can pull off for their nations. Sometimes, they do incredibly well and go far. However, there are times where it could all fall flat and go wrong. It is the opportunity to become a national icon.
Mohamed Salah is already hailed as a national hero after his last-minute penalty sent Egypt to the World Cup. He will not be completely fit throughout the tournament but is expected to light Russia up with his brilliance.
There are a few other Premier League stars who are in charge of their nation's chances in Russia, with the chance to be hailed in greatness on the line. These five attacking-minded players could score some important goals and make it big for their countries in their quest for immortality.
#1 Sadio Mane (Senegal)
Salah's winged partner-in-crime at Liverpool, Sadio Mane, could write his name in African football history. Africa has done averagely at World Cups, with Ghana's quarter-final finish in 2010 being the best performance by an African team at a World Cup. If Mane could reproduce some of the excellent form he has shown at Liverpool this season, Senegal would benefit a great deal from it.
Despite having a decent squad, Senegal will most certainly rely on the pacy winger if they are to do well in Russia. They are part of a pretty evenly matched group along with Colombia, Poland and Japan. A Mane masterclass or two could be all it takes to send the Lions of Teranga to the last 16 or maybe even further, in a repeat of 2002. This Senegal team has goals in them and they will be threats in Group H, with their speedy Sadio leading the line.