QATAR World Cup 2022

Best Players At The World Cup Outside The Top 5 European Leagues


Many of the best players on the planet are set to play at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Lots of them feature for clubs in Europe’s top five leagues: the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga. That includes legendary duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who could be set for their final World Cup, Kylian Mbappe, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and many others.


However, lots of talented players will also represent divisions outside the big five. Stars from leagues such as the Eredivisie, Primeira Liga and MLS will be strutting their stuff on the biggest stage in international Football.

But which talents should you look out for? Here at your home of Football Betting, we have picked six of the best players at the 2022 World Cup who play outside the top five European leagues.

Edson Álvarez

Country: Mexico

Club: Ajax

Position: Defensive Midfield

Career Highlight: CONCACAF Gold Cup winner (2019)

Edson Álvarez has become a vital player for Ajax since joining them from America in 2019. The 25-year-old plays as a holding midfielder and has taken the Eredivisie by storm. In 2021/22, Álvarez averaged two tackles, 1.5 clearances and 1.4 interceptions per 90 minutes in the league while also winning 3.3 aerial duels and scoring five goals. He has been a regular for Mexico since 2017 and will be key if they are to qualify from their group, end their Round of 16 curse and enjoy a deep run in Qatar.

Cody Gakpo

Country: Netherlands

Club: PSV Eindhoven

Position: Left Winger

Career Highlight: Dutch Footballer of the Year (2021/22)

Cody Gakpo is one of the most sought-after talents in European Football right now. The 23-year-old winger has played a starring role for PSV Eindhoven over the last couple of seasons, netting 21 times in 47 appearances across all competitions in 2021/22. His numbers are even more impressive in 2022/23 – after 18 appearances, he had already racked up double figures for goals and assists. Gakpo’s performances have attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham while also earning him a place in the Netherlands team.

Jesús Ferreira

Country: USA

Club: FC Dallas

Position: Striker

Career Highlight: MLS All-Star (2022)

It is fair to say that Jesús Ferreira has burst onto the scene over the last couple of years. The striker made his debut for the USA in 2020, and in his first 15 appearances, he has bagged seven goals. His emergence has been brilliant news for the USMNT, who have struggled for centre-forwards recently. At club level, the 21-year-old has been banging in goals for FC Dallas in the MLS – he hit 18 goals in 33 appearances in 2022, form which saw him called up to the All-Star Game.

Cyle Larin

Country: Canada

Club: Club Brugge

Position: Striker

Career Highlight: Süper Lig winner (2020/21)

Cyle Larin is one of the main reasons Canada qualified for their first World Cup since 1986. The striker enjoyed a fruitful spell in front of goal during qualifying and finished as CONCACAF’s top scorer with 13 strikes. That form, combined with 31 goals over the last two seasons for Beşiktaş, recently earned Larin a move to this year’s surprise package in the Champions League – Club Brugge.

Jurrien Timber

Country: Netherlands

Club: Ajax

Position: Centre-Back / Right-Back

Career Highlight: Eredivisie winner (2020/21 & 2021/22)

Another Ajax player that makes our list is Jurrien Timber. The 21-year-old has become a regular for his club in the last couple of seasons, putting in impressive performances at right-back and centre-back. In 2021/22, Timber averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.4 clearances per game in the Eredivisie while also having a passing accuracy of 91.5%. Those numbers are why Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for the defender. Having started four of the Netherlands’ six Nations League games in 2022, the Ajax man will hope to make a significant impact in Qatar.

Vincent Aboubakar

Country: Cameroon

Club: Al Nassr

Position: Striker

Career Highlight: Africa Cup of Nations winner (2017)

At 30-years-old, Vincent Aboubakar is slightly older than the other players on this list. However, the Cameroonian is a prolific frontman who can make an impact at the 2022 World Cup. After goal-laden spells with Porto and Beşiktaş, Aboubakar now plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, and he hit double figures in his first season with the club. At international level, he is just as proficient in front of goal. He has netted 33 times for Cameroon, including eight strikes at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, where he was the top goal scorer.

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