The tournament in Brazil could provide the platform for some relatively unknown players to shine.
With the road to Brazil nearing an end, here are five lesser known players who could shine in this summer’s World Cup.
1) William Carvalho, Portugal
Sporting Lisbon’s impressive midfielder will certainly be one to watch, assuming you can take your eyes off of Cristiano Ronaldo. The defensive maestro has been linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer, and he will be eager to maintain the usual resolute displays that have seen him command Lisbon’s midfield under Leonardo Jardim.
2) Memphis Depay, Netherlands
If you’re not familiar with the spritely left-winger, you will be soon. In what was a poor season for PSV Eindhoven, Depay was one of the few highlights, contributing 12 goals, several of which were absolutely world class. The 20-year-old loves cutting in with incisive runs and is also capable of shooting from long range.
3) Joel Campbell, Costa Rica
A versatile forward capable of playing down the flanks at times, Joel Campbell is a 21-year-old Arsenal signing who has enjoyed a successful loan spell with Olympiacos. English viewers may recall his wonder goal against Manchester United earlier this year, and the youngster will be looking to impress again in Brazil.
4) Serge Aurier, Ivory Coast
Aged just 21, the adventurous right-back is already a familiar face in a strong Ivory Coast squad, having broken into the side in 2013. Robust, brave and always looking to get forward, his six goals for Toulouse this term help explain the reported interest from Arsene Wenger, as the Arsenal manager looks to replace the departing Bacary Sagna.
5) Felipe Gutierrez, Chile
The powerful midfield general has proven exactly what he’s capable of against no other than England in Chile’s 2-0 victory at Wembley. A tough-tackling midfielder with an excellent reading of the game, Gutierrez will be instrumental for the South Americans in a tough group.