World Cup 2018: 10 Potential Breakout Stars

Who'll be this year's James Rodriguez?


While James Rodriguez had already established himself as a thrilling attacking midfielder prior to the 2014 World Cup, his career didn't go supernova until his starring turn in Brazil.

His Colombia side went out in the quarter-finals, but Rodriguez lit the tournament up, his 6 goals and 2 assists earning him the Golden Boot award. The then 22-year-old built an incredible highlight reel, with that volley against Uruguay the undisputed apex. It was enough to earn a £63 million transfer to Real Madrid, and he remains on top of the world today, having just helped spur Bayern Munich to their 28th Bundesliga title in 2017-18.

Such breakout stories are a huge part of the World Cup's appeal. In 1998, it was Michael Owen. Lukas Podolski had his turn in 2006, and his countrymen Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil shone four years later. The list goes on, and with many a footballing reputation secured in previous tournaments, countless stars will be out to make a name for themselves in Russia this summer.

The players within aren't necessarily unknowns, but none have truly arrived as global superstars. That could all change by July 15th...


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