World Cup 2018: 5 players that stood out in the group stage.
The group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup has come to an end and we've seen 32 teams play their hearts out in what is unarguably the most prestigious stage for football. The two weeks since the start of the world cup saw the group stage fixtures being carried out, with 16 teams qualifying into the knockout stages.
As much as they've played as a team, we have witnessed a few players standing out. Here are five of them:
#5 Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
The 26-year-old Barcelona midfielder has played a pivotal role in Brazil's World Cup campaign this year, playing as a right attacking-midfielder in their 4-3-3 formation. After scoring 4 goals and assisting 2 goals in 13 matches in the qualifiers, he was just behind Neymar and Gabriel Jesus, in terms of contribution to the team.
The World Cup has seen Coutinho leading the Seleção through to the knockout stages of the World Cup as he earns 2 wins and a draw for the team in Group E.
Coutinho scored the opener for Brazil against Switzerland in their first match of the group stage by shooting with his right foot from outside the box to the top-right corner of the goal, which earned the Brazilians a point as the match ended 1-1.
In the second match against Costa Rica, after 90 minutes of play sees a goalless draw, Coutinho scores a tap-in in the first minute of injury time to give them a lead, later to be joined by Neymar to earn them a 2-0 win.
The 3rd match of the group stage against Serbia was the decider for the entry of the Seleção into the knockout stages. In the 36th minute of the game, Coutinho gave a lob-cross to fellow Barca-man Paulinho from inside the attacking half to right outside the box beating 8 Serbian men, with Paulinho converting the cross.
Coutinho's World Cup performance of scoring twice and assisting once earns him the title of Brazil's main man over Seleção forwards Neymar and Gabriel Jesus.