Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Group A

2022 FIFA World Cup Group A: Best players

Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup: Group A

Who are the best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Top World Football looks at the top-three star players on each team in group A at the World Cup.


FIFA World Ranking: 8 

Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the Netherlands:

Virgil van Dijk is one of the most accomplished centre-backs in world football. Van Dijk has won the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool. He was named to the Top World Football all-star team at the end of last season. The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2018/19 leads an extremely strong group of defenders for the Netherlands. Van Dijk has made 47 appearances for the Netherlands senior squad. 

Matthijs de Ligt has starred for Ajax, Juventus, and now Bayern Munich. De Ligt is developing into one of the world’s great centre-backs. That should see him play for almost every minute of the tournament for the Netherlands. He’s already got 38 caps for the Netherlands and has only just turned 23 years old.

Frenkie de Jong has been a star central midfielder for Barcelona since moving from Ajax in 2019. There’s going to be a ton of pressure on Frenkie de Jong as he’s perhaps the Netherland’s most important player. With a strong showing at the World Cup, de Jong could be considered one of the world’s best central midfielders. De Jong has been capped 44 times for the Netherlands.


FIFA World Ranking: 18

Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for Senegal:

Sadio Mane won a ton of silverware with Liverpool over the last few seasons including the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Mane recently moved to Bayern Munich, where he continues to shine, and will no doubt be one of the best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Mane is Senegal’s most valuable player and was vital in their recent victory at the African Cup of Nations. At age 30, Mane has scored over 30 goals for Senegal.

Edouard Mendy is regarded as one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers. He played at the top level in France before making his way to the Premier League. Mendy won the UEFA Champions League and the Club World Cup with Chelsea FC in 2021. He’s hoping to build on recent successes that Senegal has had and become World Cup champions. 

Kalidou Koulibaly recently made the move from Napoli, joining his Senegalize teammate Mendy at Chelsea FC. He’s an extremely valuable centre-back and at age 31 has appeared in 62 matches for Senegal according to transfermarkt. Playing heavy minutes in the English Premier League should help Koulibaly get even better in time for the World Cup.


FIFA World Ranking: 44

Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for Ecuador:

Pervis Estupinan recently joined Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Premier League. He was previously with Villarreal in Spain’s La Liga from September 2020. He was a huge contributor in Villarreal’s UEFA Champions’s league semi-final run in April. Estupinan played 90 minutes of both quarter-final legs upsetting Bayern Munich. The 24-year-old left-back has been capped 26 times for Ecuador since joining the senior team in October 2019.

Piero Hincapie has already established himself as a starting centre-back for Ecuador at the age of 20. Hincapie has played 34 matches in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen’s back line. He’s got a bright future ahead of him but will be under immense pressure at the World Cup. He has only played in 19 matches for Ecuador’s senior team.

Enner Valencia is Ecuador’s most experienced attacking option and all-time leading scorer with 35 goals in over 70 appearances. Currently with Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig, Valencia will be 33 years old to start the tournament, so he likely won’t go the full 90. However, his previous experience playing in the English Premier League is extremely valuable.         


FIFA World Ranking: 48

Best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for Qatar:

Akram Afif helped lead Qatar to a bronze medal finish at the FIFA Arab Cup in December. Afif has some European experience in Belgium as well as Spain’s La Liga in the 2016/17 season where he played in 11 matches for Sporting Gijon. At 25 years of age, the Al-Sadd forward plays in the Qatar Stars League. Transfermarkt shows Afif has been capped at least 62 times for the Qatar senior team since 2015, scoring 22 goals.

Almoez Ali was also a big contributor for Qatar at the FIFA Arab Cup. Ali has scored at least 30 goals for Qatars since joining the senior team in 2016. At 25 Ali is currently playing for Al-Duhail SC in the Qatar Stars league. Ali experienced European play in the Austrian Bundesliga in 2015, as well as the third tier of Spain’s football league system in 2016.

Boualem Khoukhi has played in over 70 matches for Qatar since 2014, scoring 11 goals according to transfermart. Khoukhi is a centre-back with Qatar Stars League champions Al-Sadd. At 32 Khoukhi has never played for a professional club outside of Qatar. However, Khoukhi is experienced playing in the AFC Champions League. Khoukhi’s versatility will be valuable at the World Cup as he’s capable of moving into the midfield if needed.  

About the Author /

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Nathan Holowaty is a writer and blogger, with a passion for everything soccer-related. He is a lifelong soccer player and fan, helping to grow the sport in a positive manner. Nathan began working on Top World Football in early 2021.

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