World Cup Player Rankings- Matchday 2: Iran’s Beiranvand Outshines the Rest While James Rodriguez Finds His World Cup Form

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It was the week of reminders, as some of the world’s best jogged our memories of who they are and why they got there. James Rodriguez was the main culprit of this, although Isco, Harry Kane and Javier Hernandez showed pure class in their own ways this week.



It was an unlucky break for the likes of Alireza Beiranvand and Robin Olsen, who both had once and a lifetime performances spoiled by a deflection and a strike like no other, respectively.

Yann Sommer had a fairly busy night, protecting from Dusan Tadic’s crosses and Aleksandar Mitrovic’s headers, while Rui Patricio saved the Portuguese from a Moroccan upset.

It wasn’t a great week for most goalkeepers though, as the goals were pouring in on Matchday 2.

  1. Alireza Beiranvand (IR Iran)
  2. Robin Olsen (Sweden)
  3. Rui Patricio (Portugal)
  4. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)
  5. Pedro Gullese (Peru)
  6. Yann Sommer (Switzerland)
  7. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)
  8. David De Gea (Spain)
  9. David Ospina (Colombia)
  10. Hugo Lloris (France)

Right-Back/Right Wing-Back


Thomas Meunier was the star at right wing-back as Belgium routed Tunisia 5-2. He showed his dribbling ability, snaking around defenders far too often, while also delivering impressive crosses into the box, when he wasn’t running through the middle and assisting Lukaku.

Peru’s Luis Advincula linked up well with Andre Carillo down the right again, as well as Russia’ Mario Fernandes as he registered another assist for himself.

Some new faces will join the old as Senegal’s Moussa Wague, Japan’s Hiroki Sakai and Morocco’s Nabil Dirar all played well for their sides.

  1. Thomas Meunier (Belgium)
  2. Kieran Trippier (England)
  3. Mario Fernandes (Russia)
  4. Moussa Wague (Senegal)
  5. Hiroki Sakai (Japan)
  6. Ramin Rezaeian (IR Iran)
  7. Nabil Dirar (Morocco)
  8. Luis Advincula (Peru)
  9. Christian Gamboa (Costa Rica)
  10. Joshua Kimmich (Germany)
  11. Ben Pavard (France)

Left-Back/Left Wing-Back


The left-backs continued to impress Matchday 2, with Ehsan Haji Safi the best of them this time round.

Mexico’s Jesus Gallardo was another big player for El Tri, while Ivan Strinic joins the fray with a lockdown performance against Argentina.

  1. Ehsan Haji Safi (IR Iran)
  2. Jesus Gallardo (Mexico)
  3. Yuri Zhirkov (Russia)
  4. Aziz Behich (Australia)
  5. Yuto Nagatomo (Japan)
  6. Jordi Alba (Spain)
  7. Lucas Hernandez (France)
  8. Jonas Hector (Germany)
  9. Ivan Strinic (Croatia)
  10. Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland)

Center Back


John Stones scored a brace against Panama but didn’t have much defending to do with Panama’s weak attack.

Diego Godin continued to impress for Uruguay, holding Saudi Arabia to a clean sheet and managing his backline well.

Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji had his goal called offside by VAR, but was tremendous for Carlos Queiroz at the back, keeping Spain to just one goal all night.

  1. John Stones (England)
  2. Diego Godin (Uruguay)
  3. Morteza Pouraliganji (IR Iran)
  4. Andreas Granqvist (Sweden)
  5. Yerry Mina (Colombia)
  6. Simon Kjær (Denmark)
  7. Domagoj Vida (Croatia)
  8. Fabian Schar (Switzerland)
  9. Manuel Akanji (Switzerland)
  10. Jan Vertonghen (Belgium)
  11. Carlos Salcedo (Mexico)
  12. Davinson Sanchez (Colombia)
  13. Dejan Lovren (Croatia)
  14. Nikola Milinkovic (Serbia)
  15. Dusko Tosic (Serbia)

Defensive Midfield/Center Midfield


Luka Modrić scored a howler of a shot, capping off a perfect night for himself, after dominating the Argentine midfield and defense. Ivan Rakitic was a star for the Vetrani as well.

Kevin De Bruyne was all of the pitch, showing his drive to make the Red Devils the best version of themselves.

It was Iran’s night again, even without a victory, as Omid Ebrahim entered Carlos Queiroz’s starting 11 after coming off a suspension and was the focal point of both Iran’s attack and defense.

  1. Luka Modrić (Croatia)
  2. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)
  3. Valon Behrami (Switzerland)
  4. Paul Pogba (France)
  5. N’Golo Kante (France)
  6. David Silva (Spain)
  7. Andres Iniesta (Spain)
  8. Omid Ebrahim (IR Iran)
  9. Roman Zobnin (Russia)
  10. Ivan Rakitic (Croatia)
  11. Casemiro (Brazil)
  12. Jesse Lingard (England)
  13. Hector Herrera (Mexico)
  14. Younes Belhanda (Morocco)
  15. Jordan Henderson (England)

Attacking Midfielder/Wingers


It was a masterclass put on by Spain’s main man Isco, seemingly having the ball at his feet the entire night. He and David Silva were making everything happen for Fernando Hierro.

James Rodriguez was in fine form, even without looking completely fit, showing that his left foot was one of the best in world football.

Nordin Amrabat bossed Raphael Guerreiro all night, leaving former Real Madrid man Pepe to beg Fernando Santos to give them more coverage down the left flank.

  1. Isco (Spain)
  2. Eden Hazard (Belgium)
  3. James Rodriguez (Colombia)
  4. Denis Cheryshev (Russia)
  5. Carlos Vela (Mexico)
  6. Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)
  7. Nordin Amrabat (Morocco)
  8. Juan Quintero (Colombia)
  9. Takashi Inui (Japan)
  10. Kylian Mbappe (France)
  11. Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
  12. Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)
  13. Ante Rebic (Croatia)
  14. Dries Mertens (Belgium)
  15. Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)



Cristiano Ronaldo won’t let the world forget his name, scoring the goal that kept Portugal the World Cup against Morocco.

Hat-trick Harry Kane made a return with two fierce penalties and a lucky deflection from Rubin Loftus-Cheek’s goal-bound shot.

A number of other frontmen played well including Ahmed Musa’s double, Artem Dzyuba’s touch of class and Javier Hernandez’s late winner.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  2. Harry Kane (England)
  3. Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
  4. Diego Costa (Spain)
  5. Ahmed Musa (Nigeria)
  6. Artem Dzyuba (Russia)
  7. Mbaye Niang (Senegal)
  8. Radamel Falcao (Colombia)
  9. Javier Hernandez (Mexico)
  10. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia)

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