By 90Min
April 23, 2019

As is the case with every international tournament, there are always a handful of players who defy all expectations and make a name for themselves on the world stage.

Whilst it came as little surprise to see Luka Modric and Kyllian Mbappe doing the business at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there were plenty of players who were thrust into the limelight after some outstanding showings.

Here's a look at how seven of the 2018 World Cup's breakout stars have gone on to fare this season.


Kieran Trippier

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July 11th. 7:05 PM. The moment every England supporter up and down the country experienced a simultaneous peak. Unfortunately for Kieran Trippier, that precise moment also appears to have been the peak of his currently faltering career.

The marauding wing-back surprisingly took Russia by storm and scored his first international goal with a pin-point free kick during the opening exchanges of their semi-final against Croatia. England went on to miss out on a place in the final where, let's face it, they would have been demolished by France, and Trippier hasn't been the same ever since.


His defensive frailties have cost Tottenham far too often this season and he hasn't been contributing an awful lot in the final third either, which always used to be his primary strength.


Benjamin Pavard

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Benjamin Pavard was the least recognisable name in a star-studded French squad prior to their eventual triumph, but his impressive performances at right-back made everyone stand up and take notice.

Despite being just 22 at the time - as well as being a centre-back by trade - Pavard looked at ease in his surroundings and was pivotal to France's eventual success. He also netted the goal of the tournament with a physics-defying strike against Argentina, which only enhanced his growing reputation.

He's built on his performances in Russia and his excellent showings for struggling Stuttgart this season have been enough to convince Bayern Munich to shell out over £30m to acquire his signature.


Manuel Akanji

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Switzerland's tournament ultimately ended in disappointment as they crashed out against Sweden in the round of 16, but one or two of their players came away with their reputations enhanced.

One such player was Manuel Akanji, who had only made seven international appearances before he took to the field for Switzerland's opening game against Brazil - an impressive 1-1 draw. 

Akanji proved his ability as a quick-thinking defender with plenty of composure and it's unsurprising to see that he has carried that form into this season with Borussia Dortmund. Injuries have interrupted his progress somewhat, but he's proven to be irreplaceable when fully fit.


Harry Maguire

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There were plenty of reservations about Harry 'Slabhead' Maguire, but the Leicester defender more than repaid the faith that Gareth Southgate showed in him in Russia.

Maguire excelled alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker in a makeshift back three, with his aerial presence being matched by his admittedly awkward looking forward runs beyond the England midfield.

He was nothing short of inspirational and he was subsequently linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United. Nothing came of the interest and Maguire has since kicked on with Leicester - although he hasn't quite hit the same level of performance he demonstrated in Russia.


Aleksandr Golovin

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Aleksandr Golovin was the crowning jewel for Russia during their shock run to the quarter-finals and his silky skills and elusive movement got tongues waggling right across Europe.

The 22-year-old was the youngest member of the Russian squad, but he was arguably their most important, scoring once and providing two assists, earning him a move to Ligue 1 outfit Monaco.

However, things haven't exactly gone to plan for Golovin. He's struggled to make much of an impact during his side's battle to avoid relegation and it took him until February to even open his account for the season. Injuries have hampered him, but his stock has certainly fallen.


Rodrigo Bentancur

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Uruguay's midfield was packed full of talented individuals, but their relative inexperience on the international scene was thought to cause their inevitable downfall.

As it turned out, that wasn't to be the case. Matias Vecino and Lucas Torreira both carried out sterling jobs in the middle of the park, but it was Juventus' Rodrigo Bentancur who stole the show with a string of accomplished performances. 

He's gone on to feature regularly for I Bianconeri this season, playing a part in their eighth consecutive Serie A title. At just 21, he looks as though he'll be winning plenty more with the Italian giants for years to come.


Hirving Lozano

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The man at the centre of Mexico's impressive win over Germany in the group stages, Hirving Lozano made a name for himself in Russia with some dazzling displays.

Lozano was at PSV Eindhoven at the time and, despite some significant interest from right across Europe, he elected to stay put in Holland for at least one more season. His decision appears to have been justified as he has registered an impressive 21 goals and 12 assists in all competitions.

A big money move is almost certain to happen this summer, with Manchester United looking to be the current front runners to land his signature.

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