The FIFA World Cup is coming to Qatar later this year, and the anticipation among supporters is palpable. The best athletes from around the world will battle for perhaps the most prestigious trophy in sports.
While some stars have yet to qualify for the main stage, others have already confirmed their participation in the event in November 2022.
A good player is, without a doubt, the most important component of any successful squad. In knockout competitions, their significance grows even more. In a handful of moments, a single performance may transform a nation from anguish to ecstasy.
Several players have already demonstrated their ability to do so by assisting their countries in securing a spot in the FIFA World Cup this year.
On that topic, let’s look at the Most Valuable Player in Group A for teams who have already qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Sadio Mane | Senegal | €80 Million
With a remarkable performance in the Cameroon competition, Sadio Mane led Senegal to their first Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Mane was crowned Africa Cup of Nations player of the tournament after scoring three goals and providing two assists to help Senegal win the competition.
Despite missing a chance in the seventh minute of the final, Mane scored the decisive penalty in a shootout as Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.
The final day was “the happiest day of his life,” and the AFCON trophy was “the best trophy of his life,” according to the Senegalese hero.
Mane scored 26 goals in 80 appearances for his nation so far.
Matthijs De ligt |Netherland |€70 Million
Matthijs de Ligt, 22, is a Dutch professional footballer who now plays as a center-back for Juventus in Serie A and for the Netherlands national team. De Ligt made his senior Ajax debut in a cup match against Willem II on September 21, 2016.
De Ligt signed a five-year contract with Serie A winners Juventus on July 18, 2019, for a fee of €75 million, to be paid in five annual installments, plus €10.5 million in other fees. On August 31, he made his official debut for the club in a 4–3 Serie A home win over Napoli.
Since joining Ajax to develop his career in 2019, the 6ft 2in centre defender has signed a five-year contract for a rumored value of €75 million (£63 million), with €10.5 million (£8.8 million) in additional charges.
Frenkie De Jong |Netherlands| €70 Million
Frenkie de Jong, 24, is a Dutch professional footballer who now plays for Barcelona in La Liga and for the Netherlands national team. He is a versatile midfielder recognized for his vision, passing, dribbling, and skill, as well as good defending and attacking qualities.
Frenkie de Jong was born on May 12, 1996, in Arkel, Netherlands. Willem II in the Eredivise, the Dutch first division, was where the Barça player began his career.
He joined Ajax in 2016 and steadily worked his way into the starting lineup. He was able to become the midfield organizer for the Amsterdam club due to his versatility and exceptional vision.
As of September 2021, Frenkie de Jong earns a gross base income of 18 million dollars. He had been earning a little less before then, with an Ajax salary of roughly one million euros.
Virgil van Dijk |Netherlands| €70 Million
Virgil van Dijk, 30, is a Dutch footballer who plays as a center-back for Liverpool in the Premier League and for the Netherlands national team. Van Dijk is regarded as one of the top defenders in the world, with a reputation for power, leadership, and aerial prowess.
Despite interest from other big Premier League clubs, Van Dijk surprisingly stayed with Liverpool after a failed deal in the summer of 2017. Four years ago, on December 27, the transaction and the move to Anfield became official.
Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in the world right now, and he recently talked about it. Liverpool have gone from being a defensive disaster to having the greatest defense in the world after signing Virgil van Dijk for £75 million from Southampton.
Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld| Netherlands| €50 Million
Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld, 25, is a Belgian professional footballer who currently plays as a winger for Villarreal in La Liga. He is a Nigerian footballer who currently plays for the Netherlands national team.
When Ronald Koeman named Danjuma to the Netherlands squad in October 2018, it was his first full international call up. On October 13, Danjuma made his international debut against Germany, coming on as a 68th-minute substitute. On October 16, 2018, he scored his first international goal against Belgium.
Danjuma signed a contract with La Liga club Villarreal on August 19, 2021, for a cost believed to be in the region of €25 million. On August 29, he scored his first goal for the club in a 1–1 tie with Atlético Madrid, the reigning league winners.
On September 14, he scored his debut goal in the UEFA Champions League in a 2–2 draw against Atalanta. Danjuma scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 league victory over Granada on February 19, 2022.
Memphis Depay | Netherlands| €45 Million
Memphis Depay, usually known as Memphis, is a Dutch professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Barcelona in La Liga and for the Netherlands national team.
Memphis began his professional career with PSV Eindhoven, where he became a vital part of the squad under the guidance of manager Phillip Cocu, scoring 50 goals in 124 games across all competitions. He was the Eredivisie’s top scorer in 2014–15, scoring 22 goals in 30 games to help the squad win the Eredivisie title for the first time since 2008.
For his efforts during the season, he was also named Dutch Footballer of the Year. His achievements earned him the title of “Best Young Player” in the world by France Football in 2015. Memphis signed Manchester United for a rumored cost of £25 million in June 2015.
He joined the French club Lyon in January 2017 after a poor tenure there. He joined Barcelona on a free transfer in 2021 after four seasons with the club.
Memphis earned his first international hat-trick in a 6–1 World Cup qualification win over Turkey on September 7, 2021, bringing his total to 33 goals, equaling Johan Cruyff and Abe Lenstra’s goalscoring totals for the Netherlands.
Kalidou Koulibaly | Senegal| €45 Million
Kalidou Koulibaly, 30, is a Senegalese footballer who captains the Senegal national team and plays as a center-back for Serie A side Napoli. In 2010, Koulibaly began his professional club career with Metz in France, before moving to Genk in Belgium in 2012, where he won the Belgian Cup in his first season.
Koulibaly was eligible to represent both France and Senegal at the international level because he was born in France to Senegalese parents. He began his career with the France national under-20 team. In 2015, he made his senior Senegalese debut, and he was a member of the Senegalese squad that competed in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
He was nominated to Senegal’s squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup the following year, and he went on to help his team reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final. Senegal and Koulibaly won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021, defeating Egypt in the final.
Edouard Mendy | Senegal |€32 Million
Édouard Osoque Mendy is a Senegalese goalkeeper who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League and the Senegal national team. Mendy began his career in his home in France, where he played in the Le Havre academy until signing a professional contract with Cherbourg in the third level in 2011.
Mendy joined the Premier League team, Chelsea, for a rumored cost of £22 million in September 2020. He promptly broke into the starting line-up in his first season, becoming the club’s first African goalkeeper, and preserved sixteen clean sheets in the Premier League.
Mendy also tied for the most clean sheets in a UEFA Champions League season with nine and he helped Chelsea win their second title with another clean sheet in the final. He was also named UEFA Goalie of the Year and Best FIFA Goalkeeper of 2021, making him the first African goalkeeper to win both honors in the sport’s history.
Mendy, who is eligible to play for Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and France, first chose Guinea-Bissau in honor of his father but later switched allegiances to Senegal, where he became the first-choice goalkeeper for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, helping Senegal finish second.
He was crowned the tournament’s top goalkeeper after keeping a clean sheet in the final, and he also helped his country win the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Donyell Malen| Netherlands| €27 Million
Donyell Malen, 23, is a Dutch professional footballer who plays forward for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and for the Netherlands national team. Malen has also played for Ajax and Arsenal at the youth level.
Malen is of Surinamese origin and was born in the Netherlands. Malen was a key player for the Oranje at the 2016 Under 17 Euros in Azerbaijan, where they reached the semi-finals. He went on to represent the Netherlands at the under-18 level.
In December 2016, he was also called up to the Dutch squad for the 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship. Malen equalized for the Dutch in an U18 game against Austria in March 2017 in the 86th minute of a 1–1 draw.
Malen made his senior international debut for the Netherlands against Germany in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier in Hamburg on September 6, 2019. In a 4–2 triumph, he came off the bench in the 58th minute and scored his team’s third goal.
Ismaïla Sarr | Senegal| €27 Million
Ismailia Sarr, 24, is a Senegalese professional footballer who currently plays as a winger for Watford in the Premier League and for the Senegalese national team.
Sarr has played for the Senegalese national team at the U23 level. He competed in the 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. He was only 17 years old at the time. Senegal finished fourth in the competition after playing three games, according to him.
In September 2016, he made his debut for Senegal in a match against Namibia in Dakar (2–0) during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, for which Senegal had already qualified. He entered the game as a symbol in the 67th minute, replacing Sadio Mané, a former inhabitant of Génération Foot and Metz. Sarr scored his first international goal in a friendly match against Libya in Brazzaville’s Stade Municipal de Kintélé on January 8, 2017.
He was nominated to Senegal’s 23-man team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in May of 2018.
Sarr was a member of the Senegal team that reached the Africa Cup of Nations final for only the second time in the country’s history in 2019 and also won the 2021 AFCON Cup.
Above is your list of most valuable players in FIFA World Cup Group A, feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section.