FIFA World Cup 2018 is about to kick start in few days and the fans have already geared up to witness some of the fiercest and greatest battles in the history of the game. FIFA World Cup is a phase which is a celebration time for all the football fans throughout the World. It’s a period that compels even the non-football fans to put on the jerseys and support the teams and the players competing in the tournament.
No matter how close a friend the players might be while playing for the same club, once they don the national jerseys, the friends very quickly turn into foes.
Let’s look at the 4 pairs of club mates who might turn into foes during their face-off in the group stages
Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich)
Robert Lewandowski and James Rodriguez who play for Poland and Columbia respectively, play together for the same club Bayern Munich. The two joined their national teams after winning a club title this season.
Both the teams belong to group H and will compete against each other on June 24. James Rodriguez moved to Bayern Munich from Real Madrid for a 2-year loan deal. He will be thinking to emulate his last season’s performance at Bundesliga which included 7 goals and 11 assists
Robert Lewandowski is also someone who might play a vital role in Poland’s football this season. The national team will be heavily relying on Lewandowski to pull off a win for their side despite possessing some great players like Arkadiusz Milik, Kamil Glik, and Grzegorz Krychowiak.
Ivan Rakitic and Lionel Messi ( Barcelona)
Messi and Rakitic have been teammates since 2014. While the former is one of the best in the World at the moment and probably the best player in the history of Barcelona club, the latter was assigned the task of replacing Xavi which looked like a herculean task during the initial period.
The second they will don their national jerseys, they will turn into foes who would look to get the better of another in their face-off on June 21.
Messi was about to lead Argentina to a World Cup victory in the previous edition but lost to Germany in the finals when Mario Gotze pulled off a miracle in the extra time. Argentina also suffered failures in the Copa America tournaments that were held in 2015 and in 2016.
Rakitic is, unfortunately, a part of a highly underrated Croatia unit. The team might get their hands on some surprise wins in the World Cup and Rakitic might just be the man behind their victories.
Eden Hazard and Gary Cahill ( Chelsea)
Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard have been teammates for Chelsea since 2012 and have led their club to the Premier League titles twice, English Cup, FA Cup, and the UEFA Europa League. But they certainly won’t enjoy the best of their friendship on the field when competing against each other on June 28.
Cahill will not be captaining England but will play a major role for their side in their fight for the Cup. The 32-year-old and Ashely Young from Manchester United are the senior most members of the 23 man squad named for the tournament. Cahill will, by default be England’s first choice as a centre back in the World Cup campaign.
On the other hand, Hazard will be captaining his Belgium side and will don his captain’s armband along with jersey number 10 during the tournament. The Belgium unit might be a young side but is an experienced one and could be a lethal force if the likes of Eden Hazard get into their rhythm.
Christiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos ( Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos and Christiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid lift the UEFA Champions League for a 3rd consecutive time, but the defender and attacker won’t be on friendly terms when competing against each other in the expected to be a nail-biting game between Spain vs Portugal on June 15.
Fans will expect Ronaldo to continue his golden form in the World Cup as well. The 33-year-old will be carrying on the expectations of millions of people on his shoulder in the battle for the cup. Sergio Ramos too will leave no stone unturned in leaving his side to glory in the would be an epic face-off. He was in the World Cup winning squad of 2010 and surely would be eyeing for a triumphant victory in this World Cup season as well, this time as a Captain though.
The fans are surely in for some round the clock entertainment till the month of July.