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FIFA World Cup 2018: A line-up of gems that the tournament brought into the spotlight

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final
The 2018 FIFA World Cup fina;
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It's been three weeks since the final of the 2018 World Cup, and it was a truly special tournament. With league football less than a week away, let's have a look at the players who gathered the attention of the football with their exploits in Russia:

1. Robin Olsen

Sweden v England: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Robin Olsen

Sweden can proudly go out and say they had a good World Cup. Pitted with Mexico and Germany in the group stage, many wouldn't have fancied them progressing any further. But they finished at the top of their group knocking the world champions Germany and South Korean out.

That was thanks in no small part to a solid back line and this man, Robin Olsen. His efforts lead him to a move to AS Roma from FC Copenhagen following the departure of Alisson for a world record fee to Liverpool this summer.

2. Diego Laxalt

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Diego Laxalt

Edinson Cavani might have stolen the show in the QF tie against Portugal with a brilliant brace but Diego Laxalt's high energy performance definitely did not go unnoticed.

His extraordinary acceleration and pace troubled the opposition at many instances and left the Portuguese attackers unsettled.

3. Andreas Granqvist

Sweden v England: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Andreas Granqvist

A solid central defender, a captain and an uber-cool penalty taker - we have all three rolled into one in Andreas Granqvist.

4. Benjamin Pavard

France v Argentina: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Benjamin Pavard

From playing in the German second tier league to securing a place in France's starting 11, Pavard has had quite a journey. Not only did he help the Les Blues win the World Cup with his defense, he also scored the goal of the tournament against Argentina.

5. Lucas Torreira

Uruguay v Portugal : Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Lucas Torreira

This guy forced his way in to the starting line-up of Uruguay, who managed to keep clean sheets in all three of their group stage games. A defensive midfielder who was spotted by Arsenal's scout, he is now a part of the biggest league in the world!

6. Denis Cheryshev

Russia v Croatia: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Denis Cheryshev

Russia had a brilliant World Cup to say the least. They managed to eliminate Spain in the Round of 16, after scoring eight goals in the three group stage games.

A big factor in that was their brilliant midfielder Denis Cheryshev, who scored four times in the tournament - keeping elite company with Lukaku, Ronaldo, Mbappe and Griezmann who scored the same number of goals. Cheryshev was behind only Harry Kane, who won the Golden Boot with six goals.

7. Aleksandr Golovin

Russia v Croatia: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Aleksandr Golovin

Another charismatic midfielder who was at the heart of things for Russia in the World Cup, Golovin is just 21 years old! Chelsea FC were very interested in signing him but he chose AC Milan instead.

The promise of regular game time could have been his primary reason for moving to Serie A.

8. Takashi Inui

Belgium v Japan: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Takashi Inui

Who can forget the QF tie between Belgium and Japan. That was easily the most interesting game of the World Cup for many.

Japan left Belgium shell-shocked by going 2-0 in a span of five minutes shortly after the start of the second half. Sadly for them however, they could not hold on to that lead as Belgium orchestrated an extraordinary comeback without the need of extra-time.

Takashi Inui scored a superb long range stunner in that game. He even scored in the group stage game against Senegal, where his team had to come back twice to earn a point.

Inui was a key piece in Japan's attacking style of play during the World Cup.

9. Wahbi Khazri

Panama v Tunisia: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Wahbi Khazri

Before 2018, Tunisia had made it to the World Cup finals only four times. They entered the Russia as minnows in a tough group which consisted of England and Belgium.

However, they managed to score five goals in the three group stage games - that's three goals more than Germany. This man Khazri scored two and also assisted two!

10. Ante Rebic

Argentina v Croatia: Group D - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Ante Rebic

For those who follow Bundesliga, you might already know who Ante Rebic is: a forward who plays for Eintracht Frankfurt.

But after the World Cup, he has drawn the attention of many people, and some big teams havet him on their watch list.

11. Hirving Lozano

Germany v Mexico: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Hirving Lozano

Germany had a shocking start to the World Cup courtesy of this man.

Lozano is a sharp and pacy winger who made life difficult for Kimmich and the German back line in that game. He was dangerous every time Mexico broke out with counters.

Honorable mention: Cho Hyun-woo

Korea Republic v Mexico: Group F - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Cho Hyun-woo

He deserves a shout-out for his performance against Germany in their final group stage game. Boy, was he brilliant!

Edited by Musab Abid
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