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Last Updated : Jun 05, 2018 01:14 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

FIFA World Cup 2018: A look at first-timers in this edition in Russia

With 32 teams and over 700 players set to take the field in the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, here's a look at which teams and players will be featuring for the very first time on football's grandest stage

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This year’s World Cup will see two countries making their debuts on Football’s biggest stage along with a bunch of stars who have built their reputations playing at club level. Here’s a look at this year’s debutants.
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This year’s World Cup will see two countries making their debuts on Football’s biggest stage along with a bunch of stars who have built their reputations playing at club level. Here’s a look at this year’s debutants.

Iceland | With a population of just 330,000 people, Iceland are the smallest country to have ever qualified for the World Cup. Iceland had a dream debut in Euro 2016 where they knocked out England in the quarter-finals and went out in the semis to host nation France. Now they look to carry their tags of ‘Giant Killers’ tag onto the world stage. While hoping for a repeat of their Euro run could be asking for a bit too much, yet what we can be assured of are their passionate fans making their presence felt with their “thunderclap” chant once again.
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Iceland | With a population of just 330,000 people, Iceland are the smallest country to have ever qualified for the World Cup. Iceland had a dream debut in Euro 2016 where they knocked out England in the quarter-finals and went out in the semis to host nation France. Now they look to carry their tags of ‘Giant Killers’ tag onto the world stage. While hoping for a repeat of their Euro run could be asking for a bit too much, yet what we can be assured of are their passionate fans making their presence felt with their “thunderclap” chant once again.

Panama | Such was the jubilation in Panama upon qualifying for the World Cup that a national holiday was declared in the country. Panama overcame Costa Rica 2-1 in their final group game to qualify knocking out the United States of America in the process. Panama enter the tournament with a mix of veterans and young talent hoping to leave a lasting impression with their maiden World Cup outing.
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Panama | Such was the jubilation in Panama upon qualifying for the World Cup that a national holiday was declared in the country. Panama overcame Costa Rica 2-1 in their final group game to qualify knocking out the United States of America in the process. Panama enter the tournament with a mix of veterans and young talent hoping to leave a lasting impression with their maiden World Cup outing.

Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspurs’ forward Harry Kane will be leading the line for England. Lauded as one of the best strikers in the World, Kane even outscored Messi and Ronaldo in 2017 with 56 goals to his name. His inspirational displays led to Gareth Southgate handing over the captaincy to him, with English supporters hoping he can finally lift an underachieving side from the brink of mediocrity.
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Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspurs’ forward Harry Kane will be leading the line for England. Lauded as one of the best strikers in the World, Kane even outscored Messi and Ronaldo in 2017 with 56 goals to his name. His inspirational displays led to Gareth Southgate handing over the captaincy to him, with English supporters hoping he can finally lift an underachieving side from the brink of mediocrity.

N’Golo Kante | Kante shot to fame when he played a major role in Leicester City’s shock Premier League title win in 2016. He then moved to Chelsea where he picked up back-to-back Premier League winners medals helping Chelsea clinch the title at a canter. His excellent ball winning abilities and boundless stamina have made him an indispensable member of France’s midfield.
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N’Golo Kante | Kante shot to fame when he played a major role in Leicester City’s shock Premier League title win in 2016. He then moved to Chelsea where he picked up back-to-back Premier League winners medals helping Chelsea clinch the title at a canter. His excellent ball winning abilities and boundless stamina have made him an indispensable member of France’s midfield.

Kylian Mbappe |While a place in the starting 11 may not be guaranteed for the 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward yet the talented teenager has been tipped for great things in the colors of Les Blues. After scoring 20 plus goals for Monaco last season, Mbappe was snapped up on loan by PSG with a possibility of making the move permanent with a price tag of 180 million Euros.
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Kylian Mbappe |While a place in the starting 11 may not be guaranteed for the 19-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward yet the talented teenager has been tipped for great things in the colors of Les Blues. After scoring 20 plus goals for Monaco last season, Mbappe was snapped up on loan by PSG with a possibility of making the move permanent with a price tag of 180 million Euros.

Mohamed Salah | After scoring 46 goals in his debut season for Liverpool expectations are high for Mohammed Salah to carry forward his talismanic form into the World Cup. He even scored five goals in the qualifying stages ensuring Egypt make their first World Cup appearance since 1990. A shoulder injury he picked up following a tumble with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final has fans all over the country worried, however, Salah remains confident that he will be fit enough to participate.
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Mohamed Salah | After scoring 46 goals in his debut season for Liverpool expectations are high for Mohammed Salah to carry forward his talismanic form into the World Cup. He even scored five goals in the qualifying stages ensuring Egypt make their first World Cup appearance since 1990. A shoulder injury he picked up following a tumble with Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final has fans all over the country worried, however, Salah remains confident that he will be fit enough to participate.

Thiago Alcantra | Born to a World Cup winning father, Thiago, unlike his dad, who played for Brazil, opted to represent Spain, a country he has lived in since the age of five. Currently playing for German giants Bayern Munich, Thiago has developed as one of the best midfielders in the world with an acute understanding of the game.
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Thiago Alcantra | Born to a World Cup winning father, Thiago, unlike his dad, who played for Brazil, opted to represent Spain, a country he has lived in since the age of five. Currently playing for German giants Bayern Munich, Thiago has developed as one of the best midfielders in the world with an acute understanding of the game.

Joshua Kimmich | Seen as Philip Lahm’s successor after being bought by Bayern Munich in 2015, Kimmich had another sensational club seasonwith 13 assists and six goals. Still only 23, Kimmich has already featured for Germany at the Euro 2016 as well as in their Confederation Cup triumph in 2017. The World Cup will just be another opportunity for the confident youngster to showcase his immense talent.
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Joshua Kimmich | Seen as Philip Lahm’s successor after being bought by Bayern Munich in 2015, Kimmich had another sensational club seasonwith 13 assists and six goals. Still only 23, Kimmich has already featured for Germany at the Euro 2016 as well as in their Confederation Cup triumph in 2017. The World Cup will just be another opportunity for the confident youngster to showcase his immense talent.

First Published on Jun 1, 2018 05:16 pm
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