1 | Lionel Messi
What a turn around it was for Lionel Messi and his Argentinian side who lost their opening game to Saudi Arabia (despite a Messi goal) in what was one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history.
A second World Cup final awaits for Messi who has contributed a joint competition leading five goals along with three assists for the PSG forward.
More than just his goals though, Messi has put in multiple man of the match worthy performances, along with memorable and iconic moments such as his assists against Croatia which saw him toy with Joško Gvardiol who was the GWFN best centre back of the tournament.
This tournament for Messi has been incredible and it is only fitting that he goes one step further to lift that coveted and elusive World Cup title this Sunday.
2 | Kylian Mbappé
One man who will have something to say about Messi’s chances on Sunday is this man, affectionately known in Paris as ‘King Kylian’.
Mbappé may be only 23 years old, but on Sunday he could become a two-time world champion, being a pivotal part of both French campaigns.
‘Donatello’ is is the joint top scorer at the tournament, with only Messi equal to him.
Most memorably, Mbappé scored a thunderous brace in the round of 16 against Poland to drag Les Bleus through following a lacklustre performance by the reigning champions.
The dazzling attacker has already shown himself as one of the greatest of his generation, and another World Cup win would only further that testament.
3 | Cody Gakpo
Playing in a Louis Van Gaal side, often stifles even the best attackers, however PSV forward Cody Gakpo excelled.
Finding the net in each of the Netherlands group stage games, Gakpo finished with three goals, however the quality of his goals was what caught the attention of viewers around the world. In particular his thunderous strike against Ecuador and his inch perfect finish against Qatar.
His performances for Oranje have left Europes elite chasing the dutchman, so no doubt we haven’t seen the last of Gakpo on the world stage.
4 | Olivier Giroud
‘You can’t confuse an F1 car with a go-kart’ was what Karim Benzema said when compared with international teammate Olivier Giroud, but now two years later, Giroud closes in on his second World Cup crown, in which he has been pivotal.
Giroud makes that French side tick, in fact every tournament which he has been Les Bleus’ main striker they have reached the final. No coincidence.
Ageing like a fine wine, Giroud has racked up four goals at this World Cup leaving him only one goal from the two at the top. Goals which included the game winner against England in the Quarter-finals.
5 | Bukayo Saka
England had quietly a positive performance, only being bested by eventual finalists and current champions France, and no player more so than Bukayo Saka who put himself into the limelight with a string of impressive performances.
Kicking off his campaign with a brace against Iran, Saka was constantly Englands most dangerous attacker, never giving his markers a moments peace.
For Arsenal and for England, Bukayo Saka is a star.
Jonathan Maze | GWFN