Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are out of the World Cup with the elimination of Portugal and Argentina. With that their Real Madrid and Barcelona fans are left with precious little to cheer for in FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-finals in Russia.
The two Spanish La Liga giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona do not even figure among the top five professional clubs in terms of their representation in the World Cup 2018 quarter-finals.
The World Cup continues to amaze people with inglorious uncertainties and jaw-dropping revelations. In what was termed as the World Cup of the ‘underdogs,’ teams like Germany, Argentina, Portugal, Spain and Mexico have made shocking, early exits.
Even with the top teams are falling apart, English Premier League continue to maintain its strong representation with its 44 players and four clubs in the top of the tops list for quarter-finals representation. Four of the top clubs, in terms of their players presence in the quarter-finals, are from the Premier League.
English Premier League clubs continue to dominate with their club representation. Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) are among the top five clubs with a strong representation in the World Cup as their footballers are gearing for a hard-hitting next knockout phase along with their national sides.
Manchester City which began its campaign with 16 players now have 11 left – four each representing Brazil and England, two in Belgium and one in the French squad. The Premier League reigning champions are closely followed by Tottenham Hotspur being represented by nine players and eight players from Manchester United and Chelsea each.
The financially muscular PSG, known for its record $263 million Neymar’s transfer deal, are at the fifth spot with 8 players. The French football giants started their campaign with 12 players. The Spurs and Chelsea too started with the same number.
LaLiga supremos – Barcelona and Real Madrid – are now left with just seven and five players respectively. Before the World Cup kick-off, Real Madrid was second after Man City with 15 players and Barcelona at the third spot with 14 players. They have now slipped out of the top five positions. Barca with 7 players is at the sixth spot ahead of Real Madrid with just 5 players left as the month-long gala reaches its climax at the start of the quarter finals.
However, LaLiga holds a distinction which is hard to imagine for the football fans around the globe. The top division of Spanish football league system started their Russia campaign with a representation from all 20 of its team. No other football league in the world has achieved this feat ever in the history of FIFA World Cup. Interestingly, Six of the 32 national team managers at the 2018 World Cup in Russia boasted of career experience with LaLiga clubs. With Spain, Saudi Arabia, Argentina Iran and Egypt kicked out, only Uruguay’s manager Oscar Washington Tabarez remains the lucky one after his squad managed to book a berth in the quarterfinals after a plausible victory against Portugal.