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20 Players You Must Keep Your Eye Out For During The World Cup

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With the 2018 World Cup in Russia this year there are many reasons to be excited. Whether it’s the celebration of over 30 countries coming together for four weeks or seeing your favorite soccer players in action, there’s something for everyone. With Germany taking the 2014 World Cup, which players will make their mark on the world’s biggest stage. Here are the 20 players in this years World Cup you must keep your eye on for the World Cup!

1. Lionel Messi: Argentina

CREDIT: leomessi / Instagram

Lionel Messi comes into the World Cup with some of the highest expectations after quitting international soccer in 2016. Messi changed his mind and helped Argentina qualify for the tournament proving how important he is to the team. While the comparisons to Argentina legend Diego Maradona will always come up, Messi has the most to prove this year and all eyes will be on him as he tries to bring a championship back to Argentina for the first time since 1986.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal

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At 33-years-old Ronaldo is likely facing his last best chance of winning the World Cup, even though he is arguably the best player in the world. The Portugal star helped guide his country to unexpected glory at Euro 2016 and travels to Russia for his fourth World Cup appearance. He is Portugal’s all-time leading scorer with 81 goals.

3. Neymar: Brazil

CREDIT: neymarjr / Instagram

Neymar is the star of Brazil’s national soccer team. Entering the World Cup, Brazil is tactically better and is superior to the previous World Cup. Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany in the quarterfinals in 2014. Neymar should have the platform to display his immense talent.

4. Harry Kane: England

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Harry Kane heads into his first World Cup carrying England’s goal-scoring hopes on his shoulders. The European star is has all the talent and will have the eyes of the world on him as he makes his World Cup debut.  If Kane does perform, England can go far in the tournament.

5. Luis Suarez: Uruguay

CREDIT: luissuarez9 / Instagram

Suarez has had a rocky history in the World Cup. He was suspended from the 2010 semifinal after a handball playing against Ghana. He was also kicked out of the knockout stage in 2014 for biting. Uruguay’s high hopes in Russia depend greatly on whether the country’s all-time leading scorer with 50 goals can stay focused enough and perform.

6. Antoine Greizmann: France

CREDIT: antogriezmann / Instagram

Greizmann plays for Real Sociedad and when he won the Europa League this season it was his break through moment. Now the world will get to know the French forward as he leads Team France into the World Cup.

7. Robert Lewandaski: Poland

CREDIT: _rl9 / Instagram

The top scorer in Poland team history with 52 goals (16 of which came during qualifying for Russia), Lewandowski is viewed as Poland’s greatest player ever. Lewandowski is looking to help cement his legacy and lead Poland to their first World Cup championship. He should have no problem making his mark in the tournament.

8.  Toni Kroos: Germany

CREDIT: toni.kr8s / Instagram

Toni Kroos is the single most important player if Germany hopes to win the World Cup for a second year. The accomplished 28-year-old midfielder is looking to add to his already impressive soccer résumé with another title as no country has repeated victories since 1962.

9.  David De Gea: Spain

CREDIT: d_degeaofficial / Instagram

De Gea is arguably the world’s best goalkeeper and now is his time to show it. Spain is one of the World Cup favorites for a reason and with a defense that includes De Gea, look out for some big saves that’ll count when it matters.

10. James Rodriguez: Colombia

Tu cara cuando estás con la selección 🇨🇴⚽️😁

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Rodriguez made his breakout performance at the 2014 World Cup, but the subsequent four years have been dogged by frustration at club level. He was signed by Real Madrid before being loaned to Bayern Munich. This years tournament is a moment to re-emphasize his status among the global elite and prove the Colombia deserves the the spotlight.

11. Son Heung-Min: South Korea

CREDIT: hm_son7 / Instagram

You might have never heard of Son Heung-Min but after the World Cup that might change.  If South Korea has a chance of getting out of their group with Germany, Mexico and Sweden, Son has to perform and show the world how good he can be. 

12. Marco Asensia: Spain

CREDIT: marcoasensio10 / Instagram

Asemsia will be a secret weapon for Spain during the World Cup and remains as intensely focused. Russia offers a big stage upon which he could propel himself from super player to all-out superstar.

13. Mo Salah: Egypt

CREDIT: mosalah / Instagram

Mo Salah became one of the best soccer players in the world in 2017 and seemingly came out of nowhere. He’ll cap off a remarkable year by leading his country to its first World Cup in 28 years. He has fantastic speed and unnatural coolness in front of goal. If Egypt is to have any success, it’s in large part because of Salah.

14. Alex Iwobi: Nigeria

CREDIT: djbest12 / Instagram

One of the most exciting young players to watch at the World Cup will be Nigeria’s Alex Iwobi. The 21-year-old Iwobi may not be the most important player for Nigeria, but he’ll certainly remain a key member for the team. He’ll look to make his mark in the World Cup as he leads the African nation into the tournament. 

15. Hirving Lozano: Mexico

CREDIT: hirvinglozano / Instagram

The new star of Mexican soccer, Hirving Lozano is the next big thing for ‘El Tri.’ Expect some strong performances from the 22-year-old as Mexico looks to make strides this year and finally win their first ever World Cup title.

16. Marcelo: Brazil

CREDIT: marcelotwelve / Instagram

Marcelo is set to appear in his second World Cup and carries as much pressure as teammate Neymar to bring home the World Cup. But it’s in Russia where the world’s best defender will leave a lasting impression.

17. Paul Pogba: France

CREDIT: paulpogba / Instagram

Paul Pogba is one of the most recognizable soccer players in the world but for France to perform well in Russia it’s going to take more than just looks. Pogba is a legend already in France but that means nothing if he can’t perform in front of the world. 

18. Sadio Mane: Senegal

CREDIT: sadiomaneofficiel / Instagram

Sadio Mane brought Senegal to the tournament on his back with his myriad goals and assists. His team will once again look to get him the ball in attack once the World Cup starts. He has lightning-quick speed and reflexes, and he seemingly always puts himself in a position to score.

19. Kevin De Bruyne: Belgium

CREDIT: kevindebruyne / Instagram

Belgium is a scary team for anyone that faces them in the World Cup. One of the biggest reasons is Kevin De Bruyne. Having completed a strong club season and won the Premier League, he can help Belgium achieve great things in Russia.

20. Hector Herrera: Mexico

🤛🏼🦊🤜🏼 Victoria + Gol = Alegría maxima! #FuerzaMexico

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It was a fantastic season in Europe for Hector Herrera as the midfielder for the Portuguese club Porto. Mexico has the pressure of an entire nation on them after past disappointing performances but Herrera represents glimmers of hope. The 28-year-old Mexico star will be a key part of the success if he can help Mexico make it out of the group stage, which includes 2014 winner Germany and Sweden.

Please share your World Cup moments using #WorldCup2018 #ShowUsYourColors. We can’t wait to see how you are celebrating the World Cup.

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CrossFit Has Been Taking Over The Fitness World And These 20 Latino Athletes Are Slaying On It

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CrossFit Has Been Taking Over The Fitness World And These 20 Latino Athletes Are Slaying On It

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CrossFit has been taking over the fitness world for the last several years and Latinos have been making their place in the workout craze. Sure, most of us struggle just walking up a flight of stairs but these Latinos really show off with their skills. Check out these top athletes who are crushing their WODs.

1. R. Paul Castillo

CREDIT: rpcastillo / Instagram

R. Paul Castillo was named by Men’s Journal as one of the Top 20 Men to Watch at last year’s Crossfit Games. He was named the 2017 champ of the Central East Regionals in Nashville, a surprise finish as a newcomer.

2. Margaux Alvarez

CREDIT: 321gaux / Instagram

Self Magazine named Margaux Alvarez as one of the 19 Best Female CrossFit Stars to follow on Instagram. Alvarez’s work ethic expands past doing a killer number of burpees—she is also a business owner and winemaker for The Vine Yard Varietals.

3. Itzel Cadena

CREDIT: ItzelFit / Instagram

Mexican CrossFit athlete Itzel Cadena has competed four times at the Latin America CrossFit regionals. Besides posting workouts and introducing her followers to the athletes she helps train, Cadena also likes to post photos of her dog, Ronda.

4. Pablo Chalfun

CREDIT: pablochalfun / Instagram

Brazil’s Pablo Chalfun finished at the top of the leaderboard for this year’s Latin America Men’s Regional competition. The 25-year-old finished over 40 points ahead of his closest competitor.

5. Luis Oscar Mora

CREDIT: jrluisoscar / Instagram

Finishing in second place at the 2018 Men’s CrossFit Latin America Regional, 19-year-old Mexican athlete Luis Oscar Mora delivered impressive stats for his young age. Imagine what he can accomplish in a few years!

6. Florencia Fourcade

CREDIT:
florfourcade_ / Instagram

Communications student Florencia Fourcade is able to balance it all—including her studies and weight lifting. This Argentine Crossfit athlete will give you some #summerbod inspo with her Instagram posts.

7. Andre Sanches

CREDIT: af.sanches / Instagram

This 30-year-old Brazilian CrossFit athlete is holding his own against the young guns at this year’s Men’s CrossFit Latin America Regional. He placed third at the competition.

8. Anthony Vazquez

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This former pro footballer placed 17th in the Crossfit North East regional competition this year. If you’re looking to get into shape, well step on up, he’s accepting athletes to train right now.

9. Cata Guimarey

CREDIT: cataguimarey / Instagram

If you’re not pumped up by Argentine Crossfit athlete Cata Guimarey pumping some iron, then she might pump you up with the quote at the top of her Instagram page: Outdream Yourself. The GNC and Reebok ambassador has also competed at the regionals in 2017.

10. George Sanchez

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George Sanchez’s goal come 2019 might be to squeeze into the top 5 of the Western region CrossFit leaderboard. He came in sixth place in this year’s regional games.

11. Brenda Castro

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At the top of this year’s leaderboard for the CrossFit Games Latin America region is Brenda Castro. The 29-year-old has grabbed medal after medal for her home country of Mexico, taking home the prize three years in a row. She definitely deserves the title of ‘Fittest in Latin America.’

12. Melina Rodriguez

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Aiming to catch up to Brenda Castro is Melina Rodriguez, who missed out on getting to first place by just 12 points at this year’s Latin America regionals. The 22-year-old still has plenty of time to build up her muscles.

13. Christian Lucero

CREDIT: Christianvluc / Instagram

Rounding out the top ten of the Crossfit Games West Regional this year is 25-year-old Christian Lucero. When he isn’t squatting or jump roping at the box, Lucero likes to rock climb and hike.

14. Diego Fernando Lenis Calderón

CREDIT: ninja.diego / Instagram

The TV producer and presenter is a CrossFit athlete with the dream of representing Colombia at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the sport of karate. He has already represented his home country at the World Series and the Panamerican Championship.

15. Daviel Ostolaza

CREDIT: daviel_osto / Instagram

Daviel Ostolaza was ranked as the 16th Fittest Teen on Earth last year. The 18-year-old Boricua Crossfit athlete is also a coach at a gym in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico.

16. Cecilia Ramírez Villamil

CREDIT: Cecilia Ramírez Villamil “Negra” / Facebook

Twenty nine-year-old Mexican CrossFit athlete Cecilia Ramirez Villamil calls herself “Negra,” and she is more than a dark horse candidate when it comes to the CrossFit Regionals. Ramirez Villamil placed fourth at this year’s Latin America regionals.

17. Tata Rebane

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Tatiana Giordano Rebane is a Brazilian wonder woman. She placed in top 5 at this year’s women’s CrossFit Latin America regionals.

18. Harol Chavez Pinedo

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This Peruvian CrossFit athlete also keeps up with his WOD as a basketball player as well. He is intent on growing the CrossFit community in Peru little by little, one box jump at a time.

19. Eliana Jimenez

CREDIT: nutrielijimenez / Instagram

One of the premier CrossFit athletes from Panama, Eliana Jimenez made history for her country by winning her heat in the fifth event at the women’s CrossFit Latin America regionals.

20. Nicolas Bidarte

CREDIT: nicolasbacha / Instagram

This 24-year-old placed fourth at this year’s men’s CrossFit Latin America regionals and has a lot more to improve on when it comes to dumbell hang squat cleans.

Are you inspired by these Latino CrossFit athletes? Let us know in the comments!