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Comeback Kings: The 2014 heroes looking to make their mark at Qatar 2022

Natalia Richardson

Updated: Nov 16, 2022 09:33

Comeback Heroes: The 2014 heroes looking to make their mark at Qatar 2022

world-cup-heroes

Players such as Mario Gotze return from FIFA World Cup™ wilderness with a wealth of experience

Since his last World Cup appearance eight years ago, Enner Valencia has become Ecuador’s all-time top goal scorer

Ghana failed to qualify in 2018, leaving the Black Stars that shone in 2014 out of the limelight

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil produced several historical moments, including Spain's shocking elimination in the group stage, Germany's 7-1 victory over the hosts, and James Rodriguez's incredible goals for Colombia.

The following players dominated Brazil but were left out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and are now traveling to Qatar determined to make a statement.

Clevpicks.com will introduce you The Comeback Kings in Qatar World Cup 2022...

Mario Gotze

mario-gotze

It would have taken a brave observer to predict that the breakout star wouldn't even be selected in Die Mannschaft's squad for the tournament four years later when 22-year-old Mario Gotze cushioned a 113th-minute cross with his chest and slammed in a left-footed volley to win Germany their fourth World Cup.

The Borussia Dortmund playmaker had only produced a few goals and assists in the two seasons prior to Russia 2018 and had started to endure metabolic difficulties, losing critical playing time and form.

Karim Benzema

karim-benzema

Karim Benzema, one of the top forwards in the world according to France manager Didier Deschamps, is almost set to captain the line for the reigning champions in Qatar in 2022.

Despite having a difficult start to the year due to injuries, Karim Benzema has five league goals despite only being able to appear in seven of Real Madrid's 13 La Liga games.

Benzema has reached his peak since turning 30 in December 2017 with over 20 league goals in each of the previous four seasons, in addition to 15 goals in last season's Champions League campaign.

The Lyon-born striker may be considering Qatar 2022 as his final opportunity to shine at a World Cup as he approaches 35.

Benzema had three goals and a Man of the Match award in Brazil 2014, but France was knocked out in the quarterfinals, and he was not chosen for the 2018 World Cup, so he still has unfinished business there.

Enner Valencia

enner-valencia

Enner Valencia, another striker who recorded three goals at the World Cup in Brazil, was not present at the 2018 Winter Olympics because Ecuador was unable to secure a spot in the competition.

Ecuador and Valencia had a much better experience during the campaign to win Qatar 2022. The country earned automatic qualification for the World Cup following some strong victories over Uruguay (4–2), Colombia (6–1), and Chile in the CONMEBOL standings (2-0). Valencia also became Ecuador's all-time leading scorer with a convincing 3-0 victory over Bolivia.

Valencia, who can play anywhere along the front line for Fenerbahce, has 13 goals and four assists in 12 league games this year. He is confident that his team will advance from their group, which also includes Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands, for just the second time in their history.

Andre Ayew

andre-ayew (3)

Although he was suspended for the loss to Uruguay, Andre Ayew was an integral component of the Ghana side that advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010.

Four years later, the winger scored twice, once against the United States and once against eventual champion Germany, to leave his imprint on the international scene once more. He ultimately failed to save Ghana from coming last in their group and going out of the competition.

In Qatar, where Ayew is expected to make history for his country's team, the team will have another opportunity to redeem themselves after failing to qualify in 2018.

Ayew currently shares the record for most appearances for Ghana with Asamoah Gyan (109), and he only needs one more game to break that mark. He also has the benefit of representing Al Sadd in the Qatar Stars League, thus he is accustomed to the local environment and will be well-suited to assist Ghana in replicating their valiant campaign in 2010.

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