The Best Player at the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Samuel Nnadi, Staff Writer

The 2022 FIFA World Cup starts in a week’s time, much to the excitement of the many participating countries and people all over the world. To convey this excitement, I’ve seen many promotional ads, hype videos, or just teasers involving the World Cup, but all with the common theme of showcasing players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Eden Hazard, and even Christian Pulisic. No disrespect to all these players, but respectfully, we are not in 2018 anymore. The best player in the world right now is Kevin De Bruyne, and yet these videos, or anything promoting the World Cup, don’t have him as the face of the competition, as well as the sport as a brand.

In reference to my previous comment, we are truly not in 2018 anymore, meaning many things have changed. La Liga is no longer the best league in the world. In my opinion, this title should undisputedly belong to the English Premier League. On this basis, I believe that the best player in football is the best player on the best team, facing the best competition, unless by rare circumstances someone is putting up miraculous numbers on a different team, and their team is not good enough that they aren’t reaping the benefits of his contributions. There has to be a reason why that team is so great, and that reason is Kevin De Bruyne for Manchester City. Manchester City has won four out of the last five Premier League titles (2018-2022), and that is a large part due to his contribution. In this time frame, De Bruyne has won three Manchester City Player Of The Year (POTYs) awards, two PFA POTYs, and two Premier League Player Of The Season (according to transfermarkt). He is the reigning Premier League Player of the Season for the 2021-22 season for his contribution to Manchester City winning the Premier League Title, solidifying his place as the best player in the league, and even the world!

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Despite his achievements, it seems that not many seem to value Kevin De Bruyne this way. Man City has already started this season greatly, only bettered by Arsenal, but much of the praise has gone to his teammate Erling Haaland. Erling Haaland has rightfully gotten many plaudits for his record-breaking start, scoring 18 goals in 13 league appearances, and has even garnered tags of being the best striker in the world. This wasn’t the case last season though when Haaland was at Borussia Dortmund, with Lewandowski, Benzema, and Mbappe being seen ahead of him in the category of strikers. So what’s changed? Haaland joined a team of some of the best playmakers, including Kevin De Bruyne, in Manchester City. De Bruyne last year was considered the best playmaker in the world and is still considered so today. His ability to better the teammates around him is what makes him so special, all while helping his team win games in the process.

So what should we take from this going into the World Cup? The mainstream media may not see this to be the case, but Belgium should be one of the favorites to win the World Cup with a player like Kevin De Bruyne on board. De Bruyne has proven time and time again that he has what it takes to help his teams win, so don’t be surprised if he does exactly that, because he’s been elite for a very long time!