West Ham United are represented by four stars at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, the man currently on loan from Inter Milan to the London Stadium Joao Mario of Portugal, Mexico striker Javier Hernandez, Senegal captain Cheikhou Kouyate and new signing and Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
No player to be plying their trade in the famous Claret & Blue at the time has won the World Cup since the iconic trio of England captain Bobby Moore, and goalscorers in the final Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters in England in 1966, but which star has the strongest chance of repeating that feat in the 21st playing of football’s premier competition? Today, we attempt to answer that question.
Joao Mario (Portugal)
The man who, in theory, is playing for the best-backed side on this list is the aforementioned loanee Mario, who is being deployed as an attacker for Fernando Santos’ Portugal, the reigning defending champions.
With a draw Iran last night in Saransk, the Portuguese finished second their group, being pipped by Spain having drawn with their neighbours and then overcoming Morocco earlier in the tournament, losing out to their fierce rivals means that they will face off with the two-time winners Uruguay in the round of 16, a very winnable match and possible passage into the quarter-finals.
Javier Hernandez (Mexico)
In a similar boat is striker signed from Bayer Leverkusen last summer Hernandez and his Mexican national side, “The Little Pea” has already sent records tumbling in Russia, reaching the 50-goal landmark during Saturday’s convincing win over the South Koreans.
That three points, along with the shock opening triumph over one of the favourites Germany was enough to put them in a great position heading into the final Matchday, they need just a point against Sweden in Ekaterinburg on Wednesday to make sure of their position in the round of 16, where they will face either Switzerland, Brazil or Serbia and hope to end a hoodoo of bowing out at this stage the last six times in a row.
Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal)
Proud skipper of his nation Kouyate may have missed out on the starting Xl for Senegal’s opening two clashes in the wide-open Group H, a giant-killing of Poland and draw with Japan, however, it looks as though he will be getting more chances to impress in later rounds of his first World Cup.
The Senegalese are known for their ability to cause upsets in this tournament, just look back to 2002, although they will need a result against the resurgent Columbians on Thursday at the Samara Arena if they are going to advance to face off with the Belgians or the English, two possibly tricky matchups but ones that aren’t impossible, it may just be time for an African country to win the cup for the first time.
Lukasz Fabianski (Poland)
One West Ham player that will definitely not be lifting the world’s most famous trophy this summer is the newest addition to Manuel Pellegrini’s squad, Fabianski, who was signed for an undisclosed fee from Sky Bet Championship outfit Swansea City, last week.
Despite still having Japan to face in Matchday Three of Group H, his Poland side are out of the competition following surprising losses to Kouyate’s Senegal and South American nation Colombia, the shot-stopper was given a watching brief from the bench in both matches and after Thursday, will visit Rush Green training ground for the first time to meet his new teammates and coaches, travelling home along with the rest of the Polish squad.
So, now that you have heard the World Cup Hammers that we think have the best chance of bringing a FIFA World Cup winners’ medal back to East London next month, do you agree with our choice, and want to have your own say on the matter? Simply comment below in the provided box below or let us know your view over on our Twitter page.
Keep across all our platforms in the next few weeks, including our website and Twitter @WestHamMatters_, to find out how all of West Ham United’s FIFA World Cup 2018 representatives are getting on in Russia, don’t miss a tick, with us.