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Seven stars in the making set to shine at the World Cup

A look at some of the talents bound to become household names this summer.

Timo Werner is likely to lead the line for Germany in Russia.
Timo Werner is likely to lead the line for Germany in Russia. PA

The World Cup has proven a springboard towards global stardom for a host of players over the years.

James Rodriguez was the latest to hit the headlines four years ago when the Colombian playmaker topped the goalscoring charts in Brazil.

A big-money move to Real Madrid would soon follow as Europe's top clubs battled for his signature.

Here we cast our eye over which player could follow in Rodriguez's footsteps by using the World Cup as a springboard to the very top.

Timo Werner

Germany forward Timo Werner holds off England defender Joe Gomez.
Germany forward Timo Werner holds off England defender Joe Gomez. PA

From Gerd Muller to Miroslav Klose, the number nine jersey in Germany's national side has long brought with it a barrel-load of goals at World Cups.

With Klose now retired, however, and Mario Gomez ageing, the onus now falls on Red Bull Leipzig attacker Timo Werner to step up and deliver.

The 22-year-old scored 13 goals in the Bundesliga last season as newly-promoted Leipzig finished fifth, with his searing pace causing problems for top-flight defences.

Now Werner is tasked with transferring that goal-scoring touch onto the biggest stage of them all.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Milinkovic-Savic has established himself as one of Europe's hottest properties over the last twelve months after starring in Lazio's midfield.

The languid midfielder bagged 14 goals last season, making his 6ft 4 frame a dangerous presence in opposition penalty areas in Serie A.

Despite his club form, he remained an outcast from the Serbian national team until recently after a fall-out with previous Slavoljub Muslin.

Muslin's replacement Mladen Krstajic didn't think twice about quickly integrating the 24-year-old into his side, however, and Milinkovic-Savic will be one of the first names on Serbia's team sheet this summer.

A strong World Cup under his belt, and his price tag - currently rumoured to be around the £70m mark - will surely continue to rise.

Hakim Ziyech

Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech is one of Morocco's key men.
Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech is one of Morocco's key men. PA

Ajax playmaker Ziyech drew Dutch ire when he snubbed the Netherlands, whom he played with at youth level, to play his senior international football with Morocco.

To this point, the move has paid off though for the 25-year-old as he prepares for his major tournament bow.

He will be integral to Morocco's success this summer, as his ability to dictate the game will be key if the North Africans are to navigate their way out of a group featuring European heavyweights Spain and Portugal.

Offering quality from set pieces, Ziyech set up 17 goals in the Ervedisie and scored nine for Ajax last season.

Should he live up to his billing, Morocco could well be the dark horses in Russia.

Alexsandr Golovin

Golovin was heralded as one of Russian football's brightest talents at the Euros two years ago but seemed to struggle under the burden of expectation.

Since then, the 22-year-old has since matured as a player, though, and has already turned out more than 80 times for CSKA Moscow.

Capable of playing across the midfield, Golovin's energy and quality of passing means he'll be key for the hosts.

With the tournament on home soil, never has there been a better time for the prospect to live up to his early billing and establish himself as Russia's star man.

Hirving Lozano

Hirving Lozano is one of Mexico's main attacking threats.
Hirving Lozano is one of Mexico's main attacking threats. PA

Lozano is the latest star to emerge from Mexican football, and has the ability to use the World Cup as a career springboard this summer.

The 22-year-old, nicknamed "Chucky", enjoyed a terrific debut season with PSV Eindhoven after making the move to the European game last season.

Playing from a wide attacking role, Lozano scored 17 goals as PSV stormed to the Ervidiese crown.

Blessed with pace, good movement and neat close control, "Chucky" is one to look out for in Russia.

Piotr Zielinski

Robert Lewandowski may hog the headlines in Poland, but it's Piotr Zielinski who could well be the nation's star turn this summer.

After setting up six goals in qualifying, Napoli midfielder Zielinski has emerged as the main source of supply to Bayern Munich's goal machine.

Such is the 24-year-old's technical quality and ability to find a crucial pass, he was labelled "the next Kevin De Bruyne" by his former boss Mauricio Sarri.

Poland have been crying out for a creative midfielder over recent years and in Zielinski they may well have found the answer.

This summer is the time to prove it.

Andre Silva

Andre Silva struggled during his first season with AC Milan.
Andre Silva struggled during his first season with AC Milan. PA

Portugal have long been crying out for an out-and-out forward to partner talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

In Andre Silva, they hope to have stumbled upon the answer.

The 22-year-old emerged as Ronaldo's partner-in-crime up front during qualifying, scoring nine goals as Fernando Santos' side booked their spot in Russia.

His form at club level hasn't been quite so hot, however, as Silva toiled during his debut season with AC Milan following a $38m move last summer.

A move to the English Premier League this summer has been touted, with Wolves and Huddersfield said to be mulling over big-money moves.

But should Silva hit the goal trail in Russia it could well be England's big guns who come calling.

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