The World Cup is now only a month away, the stage on which players are put on the global stage in front of billions of people to showcase their talents. Liverpool will be represented by at least six players – a figure which is set to rise – with most countries already announcing the squads they will take to Russia in the summer.
The most recognised name from Jurgen Klopp’s squad that will be flying over the the tournament is, of course, Mo Salah. Already a national treasure after scoring a last second penalty to send his nation to the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990, the Egyptian King has netted 33 times for his country in 57 appearances.
He will be the only Red in Group A as Egypt are drawn alongside Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and hosts Russia. Many are tipping Mo and co. to make the knock-out stages.
The next player to book their ticket is defender Dejan Lovren. Despite a few injuries this campaign, there was no way Croatia would go to the World Cup without the defender. They will play Nigeria, Argentina and Iceland for a place in the next round.
Roberto Firmino is another non-surprise Liverpool star to play in Russia after manager Tite called the forward into Brazil’s 23-man squad. The nation will want to reply with a bang in this tournament after last being seen on the world stage getting thumped 7-1 by eventual 2014 World Cup winners Germany on their own turf. A Group E consisting of Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia shouldn’t pose too much of a threat in regards to reaching the knock-outs.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson and the uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold are the two homegrown players that will represent the Red side of Merseyside for England in Group G. Adam Lallana has not made the cut after only starting three games for the Reds in a campaign that has been plagued by injury with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez missing out due to their wounds. Also for the record, James Milner has retired from international duty…
England will be confident of qualifying for the Last 16 as they try and overcome Belgium, Tunisia and Panama to grab their first World Cup win since the 1-0 win over Slovenia in 2010.
The final player selected to play at the tournament for their country (as of 20th May) is Sadio Mane of Senegal. His side are tipped as dark horses to progress from Group H, which is made up of themselves, Japan, Colombia and Poland. If they can, there is the possibility he will pick his whits against several club teammates, should England do the business. Joel Matip, however, does not make the grade, presumably due to his ingoing injury.
Among those not selected to travel to Russia is Emre Can. Touted with a move away from Anfield when his contract expires in the summer, the 24-year-old is currently nursing a back injury. Nevertheless his exclusion from the Germany squad has raised a few eyebrows, especially after competing in the Confederations Cup triumph last year. Significantly less surprise greeted Loris Karius’ non-entry into the team with Joachim Low noticeable blessed with an abundance of custodians.
Belgium have yet to announce their final 23 but fellow goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is expected to make the cut, although whether we will see him in between the sticks at any point during the competition is questionable.
It would take a miracle for Alberto Moreno to be included in the Spain squad when they finalise their selections.
Despite this, Liverpool already have a significant presence in Russia, and no doubt one or two more from the world stage will be retreating to Anfield before August ends.