Web desk(June 15, 2018): Football, the world knows, is a team game. But, if you look carefully, there’s always a side plot, little personal competitions – rivals at the international level but mates, or maybe best buddies, at the club level. Here are a few lock-horns that will feature at the World Cup group stages.
Cristiano Ronaldo Vs Sergio RamosSpain’s clash against Portugal is not only one of the biggest matches of the group stage, it will also see Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo come up against his club-mate Sergio Ramos. The duo has been extremely influential in the Madrid side winning the Champions League in last three seasons.
Lionel Messi Vs Ivan RakiticArgentina and Croatia are expected to advance from Group D and this match may become crucial in deciding who tops the group. An interesting sub-plot to the clash will be Barcelona teammates Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitic facing each other. Both have shown very good understanding on the field and are also known to be good friends off the pitch.
De Bruyne Vs Raheem SterlingThey together lead Manchester City’s attack but when England face Belgium in Group G they will be tasked to put it against each other.
Christian Eriksen Vs Hugo Lloris
One scores the goals for Tottenham Hotspur and the latter guards the citadel for the London side. However, if Denmark are to pull off a surprise win over France in group C, Denmark will look up to Eriksen scoring past Lloris.
James Rodriguez Vs Robert LewandowskJames Rodriguez and Robert Lewandowski will fight against each other when their teams clash in Group H. Rodriguez was the Golden Boot winner in 2014 and will look for another stellar campaign while Lewandowski is one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the world.