With the World Cup fast approaching, this is an anxious time for many players hoping to make their country’s final squad for the competition. There are going to be players from all of Europe’s top 5 leagues making appearances in Russia but here are five players from five different La Liga teams that could play a massive part for their respective countries this summer.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona – Argentina
Perhaps a too obvious choice but the truth is that without him the Argentines stand very little chance of making it far in Russia. He has the highest performance score in all of La Liga, leading the next best player by over a thousand points. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many with Messi being both the leading goalscorer and assist maker in the Spanish top flight. For the national team, he has bagged 61 goals in 123 games – nearly a goal every two appearances.
Even with Messi on the pitc,h many bookmakers are reluctant to make them a favourite. They struggled in qualifying, needing to win their last game to ensure a place in Russia.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid – Portugal
It is unfair to say that Portugal are nothing without Ronaldo but they would be a much diminished team if he was not part of the side. He had a huge part to play in helping his country win the 2016 European Championships and he could be massive again in Russia. He has bagged 89 goals in 149 appearances and despite a slow start in La Liga he appears to be back to his best following a truly wonderful strike in the Champions League against Juventus.
Again bookmakers do not consider Portugal to be amongst the front runners but looking at world cup free betting it may well be worth having this man down to finish as the tournament’s top scorer.
Iago Aspas – Celta Vigo – Spain
The Spanish forward could be one player that goes under the radar somewhat as the World Cup approaches. Playing for an un-fancied Celta Vigo, Aspas has smashed home 20 goals in La Liga this season with only Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez scoring more. He has not played a huge amount of international football but Spain could do with a natural goalscorer, with Alvaro Morata not having a great season for Chelsea.
Aspas has scored four goals in eight appearances for Spain, which is an impressive return and could be part of the reason why bookmakers consider Spain as one of the top sides, if not quite the favourites.
Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid – France
The French international has been in scintillating form this season for Atletico who look as though they could finish above their illustrious city rivals.
Griezmann has bagged 19 goals in just 28 appearances in La Liga for his side and he is going to the World Cup as the in-form striker for the French. In 51 games for France, the forward has scored 19 goals and if he can strike up a good partnership with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, France could be very dangerous.
Bookmakers rightly have them as a one of the favourites and they could be worth an outside bet to win it.
Christhian Stuani – Girona – Uruguay
The 31-year-old may be one slightly out of left field, given that Luiz Suarez and Edison Cavani will be the outstanding stars for the South American’s in the coming World Cup, but he could have a massive impact.
After a poor season with Middlesbrough, the striker has looked reformed back in La Liga with minnows Girona this campaign.
He has bagged 17 goals in 27 appearances – helping to fire the side from Catalonia to an unlikely top half berth. Not bad considering it is their first season in the top flight in their 87 years of existence.
Whether Uruguay can make an impression in Russia will very much depend on their forwards, Stuani being one of them.