This year’s World Cup in Qatar is a great opportunity for some of Leeds United’s star players to show what they are capable of on the biggest stage in international football. The club is likely to have representation in the Denmark, Poland, Spain, and USA squads. Here is a look at some of the players we can expect to see playing at the 2022 World Cup later this year.
Diego Llorente (Spain)
Centre-back Diego Llorente has been a starter in Luis Enrique’s Spain team for their recent fixtures and that should be the case at the World Cup. His national team manager trusts the 29-year-old, who is one of the most experienced defenders across their back four.
Llorente rarely has a bad game for Leeds. He has played over 50 games for the club now since moving to Yorkshire from Real Sociedad in September 2020. That consistent run of form is being rewarded by Enrique.
The Leeds defender was part of his country’s squad at Euro 2020, but he was predominantly used as back-up at the tournament. Spain made it through to the semi-final of that competition where they were eliminated by the eventual winners Italy.
Llorente and his teammates are in with a great chance of lifting the World Cup trophy at the end of the upcoming event. As of the 29th of September, Spain is priced at odds of 8/1 in the outright World Cup betting markets, which puts them at the top end with the bookmakers.
Mateusz Klich (Poland)
With 41 caps to his name, Mateusz Klich has been a regular for Poland since 2011. The midfielder played a big role in helping Poland qualify for the World Cup for the second straight tournament.
Klich plays in the centre of a four-man midfield for Poland. They often adopt a 3-4-1-2 formation. His last goal for his country was back in 2018 when he scored in a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland. He will be hoping to end his wait for another goal at the competition in Qatar.
Poland will fancy their chances of qualifying from Group C along with Argentina. As well as the South American country, Poland will face Mexico and Saudi Arabia in the opening stage of the tournament.
Rasmus Kristensen (Denmark)
Denmark was one of the surprise packages at the European Championship in 2021 as they reached the semi-finals at Wembley. It needed a Harry Kane penalty in extra-time of that game against hosts England to eliminate them.
Rasmus Kristensen is set to be a starter for Denmark at the World Cup. He has played eight times for this country this year, including in a 2-0 victory over France, making the right-back position his own. His form this season in the Premier League will only strengthen his reputation.
Full agreement set to be reached between Leeds and RB Salzburg for Rasmus Kristensen. Danish right-back's expected to join Leeds in the coming days, once final details will be resolved. 🇩🇰🤝 #LUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 3, 2022
Kristensen will be able to undergo medical tests after international duty. pic.twitter.com/L5QP9dEwUK
Kristensen has impressed since arriving in Jesse Marsch’s squad back in the summer. He was not a name many Leeds fans were familiar with when the club paid in the region of £10 million for his services from Red Bull Salzburg. However, he has shown his quality and there is no doubt he can do the same for Denmark when they take to the field in Qatar.
Spain boss Enrique will be hoping Rodrigo is fully fit again by the time the World Cup comes around. The Spanish forward was in excellent form before his shoulder injury, scoring four goals from his opening five Premier League games.
Rodrigo featured briefly at the previous World Cup in Russia 2018, but he is expected to play a more important role this time. The 31-year-old, who can operate in several positions in attack, will be a versatile player for Enrique. He could feature as a centre-forward, attacking midfielder, or winger in the Spanish team.
The Leeds forward has scored eight goals in 27 appearances for Spain. He has had success for his country at various levels before the senior team. In what could be his final chance to win a World Cup, he will be giving his all to ensure his country is successful later this year.
The opening game of the 2022 World Cup comes on the 20th of November when the hosts Qatar will meet Ecuador. The final then takes place on the 18th of December.
Photo by Unsplash