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Neymar, 26, Brazil

This is the redemption tour for the young Brazilian star. Neymar has opined that Brazil are the team to beat. Asked which players, excluding The Best FIFA Men's Player finalists – himself, Lionel Messi and winner Cristiano Ronaldo – would shine at the 21st edition of the tournament, the 26year-old responded: “There are lots of quality players. It’s the World Cup we’re talking about – only the best players in the whole world. But Coutinho and Jesus are players that, for me, can have a big impact. I hope they do.

Harry Kane, 24, England

There's a good chance Russian citizens will experience a HurriKane warning this summer. The Tottenham Hotspur striker and captain of the Three Lions will be shouldering expectations of a national team that failed to make it out of the group stage back in 2014. Kane was not part of that team, and in fact, had not even made a Premier League start until April of that year. Since then, he has risen into stardom as one of the most prolific goalscorers on the planet. Kane is a great poacher but he can find the back of the net from long distance too.

Kevin De Bruyne, 26, Belgium

Nicknamed “The Prince”, the distinctive red-haired De Bruyne is the brains of the operation of the Belgium national team. Four years ago De Bruyne tore the hearts of U.S. national team by scoring in extra time to help Belgium advance to the quarterfinals where the Red Devils were eliminated by Argentina. He finished Brazil 2014 with one goal and two assists. KDB’s game is all about his vision and the way he sets up his teammates with world-class passes. There are not many players that can read the field the way he can.

Edinson Cavani, 31, Uruguay

Edinson Cavani brings hopes of winning a third FIFA World Cup title for Uruguay. Cavani, might be one of the most underrated strikers on the planet. He’s been the author of back-to-back 40-plus-goal seasons for his club, all while leading South American qualifiers in goals scored with 10. The long-haired, headband-wearing forward is very valuable to the team just based on his ability to retreat and help out the midfield and defence from time to time.

Thomas Muller, 28, Germany

Thomas Muller will be representing Germany in the World Cup for the third time in his career, and he is only 28. Muller already sits eighth on the all-time World Cup goalscoring list, the highest among any active player, and only six behind his former teammate Miroslav Klose, who set the record in 2014. The lanky Muller is the type of player that seems to always be at the right place at the right time being able to play a variety of positions up front, depending on the formation. He only scored 15 goals in 45 appearances last season for Bayern Munich. Since winning the World Cup in 2014, Muller has scored 12 times in 28 international appearances.

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