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At the 2022 FIFA World Cup, four superstars disproved their club managers.

The FIFA World Cup has always been a platform for most struggling players to revive their careers on the back of a frustrating campaign at club level. Some players often use their performances at the FIFA World Cup to send an indirect message to either their club managers or previous employers.

The 2022 edition in Qatar hasn’t been an exception, as some players rekindled their form with their national teams. As such, this article will take a look at four notable names.

#4 Harry Maguire – England

England v France: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
England v France: Quarter Final – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Prior to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, England defender Harry Maguire experienced a difficult spell with club side Manchester United. The 29-year-old defender has been limited to a bit-part role at Old Trafford since the arrival of Dutch tactician Erik ten Hag this summer.

The former Ajax manager has since favored the defensive partnership of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. This has limited Maguire to registering only 280 minutes in the 2022-23 Premier League season.

However, the Manchester United captain looked a completely different player at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar with his national team England.

Ten Hag: “Harry Maguire will have his chance. It’s clear he is good enough to play at highest level”, tells @sistoney67 🔴 #MUFC

“We want Harry to bring same energy as with England on the pitch for Man Utd. If he does that, he will be a great player for us”.

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He featured in all five of the Three Lions World Cup games enroute to the quarter-finals. Maguire looked very much solid in Gareth Southgate’s defensive setup and helped England keep three clean sheets in five games.

His performances in the maiden football cup competition will no doubt send a message to club head coach Ten Hag. The Dutchman could be forced to put more faith in Maguire when the 2022-23 season gets back on the way.

#3 Christian Pulisic – USA

Pulisic playing against Netherlands
Pulisic playing against Netherlands

Another player who looked rejuvenated at the 2022 FIFA World in Qatar was Chelsea and USA winger Christian Pulisic. The 24-year-old was also among a handful of players who went into the competition on the back of a frustrating club campaign.

Pulisic hasn’t been a regular starter under Chelsea manager Graham Potter. The American started just five of 18 games for the Blues in all competitions during the 2022-23 season.

However, the forward showed flashes of what he could offer in attack when given the chance to showcase his enormous footballing abilities.

Cristian Pulisic Man Of The Match 🇺🇸

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Pulisic was one of the standout performers for the relatively young USMNT, who reached the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup. He scored one goal and registered two assists in four games.

The 24-year-old winger was also voted ‘Man of the Match’ for his performance against England during their second Group B game.

#2 Joao Felix – Portugal

Felix against Switzerland: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Felix against Switzerland: Round of 16 – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Joao Felix will hope that his performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup will send a message to club manager Diego Simeone. The Portuguese forward has endured a very difficult spell at Atletico Madrid, especially during the current 2022-23 football campaign. He has been limited to just 510 minutes of football action in La Liga.

João Félix sends one more message on Atletico Madrid: “The way of playing with Portugal and then at the club is different. When the conditions are favourable, things go better”, told Sport Tv. 🇵🇹

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The 23-year-old however did give a good account of himself at the World Cup in Qatar, with a handful of impressive displays for Portugal. He played four games for Fernando Santos’ team enroute to the quarter-finals, scoring one goal and registering two assists.

#1 Hakim Ziyech – Morocco

Ziyech against Spain: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Ziyech against Spain: Round of 16 – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech is having a dream tournament at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with his national team Morocco. The Atlas Lions have become the first African team to ever reach the World Cup semi-finals. However, there seems to be a huge contrast between his performances in Qatar and that of his club side Chelsea. The 29-year-old has struggled to get adequate game time at Stamford Bridge.

Prior to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Ziyech played the least minutes of any forward Chelsea player during the 2022-23 football campaign (270). He also started two out of the nine games he played for the Blues.

Not only is Hakim Ziyech having a great World Cup but he has played more minutes for Morocco in this World cup then he has for Chelsea this season. Makes you think why he is not performing at the same level? Is this down to the manager?

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His performances at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup could be a defining moment in his professional career. Should he decide to stay at Chelsea after the tournament, Potter could be forced to put more faith in Ziyech.

He has registered one goal and one assist for the Atlas Lions so far, and will be hoping to make his nation the first African team to ever win football’s biggest prize.

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