Some countries are blessed with some serious talent when it comes to soccer, take Brazil, France, England; these countries seem to pop out world class stars like it’s easy! Sure, there may be reasons for this- it is quite well known the amount of money English teams put into their academy and developing youth, compared to countries like the U.S who focus more on other sports like hockey and baseball, among others. At the end of the day, true talent isn’t only determined by the training a youth player gets; some players have natural talent that shines through regardless. This can be seen in quite a few instances, where a country will have one world-class player who is just lightyears above the rest of the national team. We respect them though, they stay loyal to their country and do their part to progress with their national team. So who are the players that carry their teams in International football? Find out below.
Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
If you looked at Egypt’s most recent roster, it is possible you wouldn’t recognize most of the names on the team sheet. After all, the majority of the players play in Egypt for teams such as Al Ahly, Pyramids and Zamalek. A couple of players do play in Europe though, but the biggest name is certainly legendary forward, Mohamed Salah. Salah has spearheaded Liverpool’s attack for many seasons now, amassing many goals among top honors. He has won the Champions League and EPL title in recent seasons and only appears to get stronger as the years go by. Other familiar names are Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny, but if he’s the second best, it just shows how much talent the Egyptian National side is lacking. The side sit in pole position to qualify for the next World Cup and with Salah at the helm, we’re hopeful they might just make it.
Heung-Min Son (South Korea)
Qualifying for major tournaments is something that South Korea often does, but surely without captain Heung-Min Son, this wouldn’t be possible. Similarly to Egypt, a majority of the players play for South Korean teams, with a handful playing in Europe. That being said, Son is the clear star of the team. Son has been a top talent in the Premier League for years now and leads the national team with 94 caps and 29 goals. They have had some good times with Son, who was instrumental in knocking Germany out of the 2018 World Cup. Son remains a mainstay in Tottenham’s starting XI and his partnership with Harry Kane has been notorious in recent seasons.
Christian Pulisic (United States)
The United States have often qualified for major tournaments. Even though they may not have the most talented of squads, they still have a better roster (and resources) than their Continental rivals, how they fight for qualification. Many of their players have made it to Europe to compete, but it is true that there is no star quite like Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic. Pulisic achieved initial success in Germany at Borussia Dortmund which eventually earned him a top move to Premier League giants Chelsea. The U.S have had other experienced Premier League stars in the past, like goalkeeper Tim Howard and attacker Clint Dempsey for instance, but they aren’t exactly at the level to carry U.S to the World Cup Final are they! Sure, other players like Weston McKennie (Juventus) and Sergiño Dest (Barcelona) are young and have great potential, so perhaps they won’t be so reliant on Pulisic in the future!
Gareth Bale (Wales)
Though Bale has peaked and had his fair share of struggles in recent seasons in terms of consistency and fitness, he has certainly carried Wales for the majority of his career and remains an important player to this day! The speedy winger has amassed 99 caps for his beloved Welsh national team, scoring 36 goals. Bales will be remembered for his role in leading Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, defeating teams such as Russia and talented Belgium. Bale matched this success with a great career at Spurs and Real Madrid, winning Champions League titles, La Liga and competing for the Ballon d’Or every season. Wales greatest ever player without a doubt, we are sure when he eventually retires, Wales will struggle to find a star quite like him again.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
Despite being French born, Aubameyang decided to play internationally for Gabon, the team his father once captained. He also had the opportunity to play for Spain, but ultimately decided against this. Aubameyang has accumulated 70 caps for the national team, scoring 28 times and is surely their greatest ever player. The player made a name for himself at Borussia Dortmund, scoring 99 goals in 144 games as Dortmund challenged Bayern for the Bundesliga title. A player known for electric pace, he is a type of player we may never see Gabon possess ever again.
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Poland are a decent side and often qualify for major tournaments. That being said, Lewandowski is surely the face of the team and has carried them for the majority of his time involved with the national team. Poland have some decent players, such as Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus) and Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), but he is the main main, the goal scorer, the captain. Lewandowski is considered one of the best strikers of his generation and has amassed 72 goals in 127 games for his country. A player who has achieved legendary stats at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, he might even win the Ballon d’Or this season.