World Cup 2018: A success story for Tottenham Hotspur players
If asked to guess which club side would have the most players in the World Cup semi-finals, many would throw out names such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, or Manchester City. However, this World Cup of shocks and surprises has thrown up yet another amazing statistic.
Of the 44 clubs teams still represented in the World Cup, it is Tottenham Hotspur who have the most remaining with a huge and surprising nine players! Spurs enjoyed an excellent season in the Premier League, finishing third and qualifying for the Champions League with this form carrying over into the World Cup for many of their players.
English teams dominate the clubs still represented at the tournament with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Manchester City all tied in second place with seven players apiece.
The nine Spurs players play for three of the four remaining countries in this year's competition:
England (5): Eric Dier, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane.
Belgium (3): Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, and Mousa Dembele.
France (1): Hugo Lloris
The exception is Croatia whose key player, Luka Modric, is a former Tottenham player. Should Belgium and England reach the final, Spurs will boast an astonishing eight World Cup finalists, two more than closest rivals Manchester United and Manchester City if both nations get through their respective semi-finals.
Spurs players have also performed extremely well at the tournament, netting a combined 11 goals to sit in joined-second place with England as the top scorers at the World Cup.
Of the non-English clubs still represented at the tournament, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, and Monaco all share the same number of players with four apiece. There is no club which has a player in each of the final four sides in the tournament.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Premier League completely dominates the number of players represented in the World Cup semi-finals with a massive 40 players, equalling 43%, still in the tournament.
Their closest rivals, La Liga and Ligue 1, are far behind with just 12 representatives each, while the Bundesliga and Serie A are left with just single digit numbers after a dismal World Cup for their players.
If England and Belgium are eliminated in their respective semi-finals, the Premier League will fall behind to La Liga, Ligue 1, and Serie A, and tie with the Bundesliga as the fourth best-represented league in the World Cup final.
This potentially dramatic shift in the standings shows how reliant England (all players play in the Premier League) and Belgium (almost half of their squad play in the Premier League) are on Premier League football.
To increase the joy of Tottenham fans even further, Arsenal is left with just a single representative at the tournament. The Gunners' only player still in Russia, Danny Welbeck, represents a smaller contingent than the Chinese Super League still at the World Cup.
No matter what happens in the semi-finals, Tottenham is guaranteed to have at least one representative in the World Cup final, a fine achievement for Mauricio Pochettino and his Spurs project.Published 10 Jul 2018, 03:20 IST