The Not-so-Bright Stars of this World Cup.
Three weeks in and what entertainment has this World Cup been. With the Group stages over, one can safely say, that this has been the most interesting and unpredictable one in this century. (2002 being second). From goals galore ( especially penalties), to late VAR controversies, to big teams getting a sock to their nose (looking at you Germany) and the "lesser teams" showing their mettle. We have had it all. But who made the best impact. You know the famous ones. The Ronaldos, Modrics, Kanes, Hazards. This article here is an effort to bring to fore the individuals who have had just as great a World Cup but wouldn't have registered on most radars.
First on my list
Ever Banega - What a difference one man can make, especially if he is the last missing piece of a cog in a machine. Everything that Banega has done till now, suggests what a tactical mistake it was on Sampaoli's part to not have included him in the starting line up in the first two games. He was the best man on the field against Nigeria ( sorry Messi fans). With a pass completion rate of 88%, 5 Accurate long balls (100% completion incidentally), winning 4 out 4 tackles and 2 out of 2 Aerial Duels, he was the player that Argentina was looking for. And all this was nothing on the assist for Messi's goals, he gave. Sublime! It would be a surprise to not see him included in Argentina's Knockout matches.