- The World Cup isn’t just all about the biggest stars in soccer.
- It also presents an opportunity for young, lesser-known players to make a name for themselves on the big stage.
- Below are nine unearthed gems to keep an out for in Qatar.
Over the years, many lesser-known soccer players have announced themselves to the world at the FIFA World Cup.
Take Romania legend Gheorge Hagi, for example, whose performances at Italy 1990 earned him an unlikely promotion from Steaua Bucharest to Real Madrid.
Or James Rodríguez, who also signed for Real from AS Monaco after helping Colombia reach the quarterfinals at Brazil in 2014.
Or even Senegal striker El-Hadj Diouf, for whom Liverpool came calling – though it would later regret it – after he scored three goals, including one against France, at South Korea/Japan 2002.
At this year’s Qatar World Cup, which starts on November 20, there will again be a plethora of young players from all over the globe who will be hoping to make their marks and perhaps secure themselves a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Below, Insider takes a look at the hidden gems that could unearth themselves in the Middle East.