Having topped Group A, Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal will face Chile in the first of the semi finals of the 2017 Confederations Cup held in Russia. Meanwhile, Mexico will face the Group B table toppers Germany in the other semi final clash. With a lot of individual talent in display , let’s look at some of the top individual stars to look forward to as we reach the closing stages of the tournament.
1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) :
No surprises that he makes the list. Ronaldo, after a highly successful campaign with Real Madrid this season, has carried his fine form into the Confederations Cup with 2 goals and an assist under his name. With 3 straight Man of the Match awards, He has led from the front and has linked well with his teammates, especially with the likes of young striker Andre Silva and Manchester City bound Bernardo Silva.
Having recently scored a record 75 goals for his country, Chile defenders definitely have a job in their hands to contain the Portugese captain as he bids to add another silverware to his collection.
2) Alexis Sanchez (Chile) :
Another big name to make the list. Alexis Sanchez continued his fine form from his domestic season,scoring and assisting one each. The Arsenal forward has been a consistent performer for his country over the last couple of years and this year’s Confederations Cup is no different. With Alexis and Arturo Vidal running riot, Chile will hope to add to their Copa America silverware and give themselves a confidence boost ahead of the World Cup in 2018.
3) Timo Werner (Germany) :
The young German striker announced himself to the world with a wonderful campaign with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig , netting 21 goals in just 32 appearances for the club and rightly rewarded with a call up to the national squad. Having made his debut against England in a friendly, he has now announced himself on the global stage with a brace against Cameroon in Germany’s final group game.
The 21 year old striker is likely to start in the semi final clash against Mexico, and he is definitely someone to watch out for . With raw pace , good eye for finishing and undoubted talent, he is definitely one for the future.
4) Hector Herrera (Mexico) :
An integral part of the Mexican national squad, Herrera provides the much needed stability at the centre of the field. The Porto midfielder helped rescue El Tri earlier in the week and was again instrumental for Mexico, setting up both goals while also protecting the back line. A classic definition of a box to box midfielder, the 27 year old will again play a key role for his country as Mexico looks to gain one over the Germans in what promises to be a fascinating contest.
5) Joshua Kimmich (Germany) :
With their World Cup winners absent in Russia, Germany’s rising stars are relishing their chance to shine at the Confederations Cup. Captained by the extremely talented 23 year old Julian Draxler, the young guns, with the likes of Leon Goretzka, Julian Brandt,Lars Stindl among others, have already seized their chances well and will look to stake a claim for a spot in the World Cup to be held next year.
However, Joshua Kimmich stands out from the rest with consistent displays for the national side following a fine season with the Bundesliga Champions. The 22 year old versatile full back, who is also capable of playing in a central midfield role, has already bagged 2 assists under his name and coach Joechim Loew will hope the defender continue to display the consistent performances that has made him the natural replacement for German legend Philip Lahm.