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5 players who will prove their haters wrong this season

Even the greatest players in the world have critics. In today’s world, where every single performance is micro-analyzed and broken down by fans and experts alike, it’s not hard to find reasons to criticize players.

Footballers need to keep their ears off social media and all the misguided hate and focus on their game. It’s not the easiest thing these days, but the brouhaha needs to be kept on the doorstep or it could gobble up a single whole.

The 2021/22 season has been a testing campaign for some of the world’s best players for a variety of reasons. Some of them were struggling with injuries, others just weren’t gaining momentum. But as we all know, form is temporary and class is permanent.

We expect them to bounce back this season and end their critics as we’ve seen so many times in the past. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five players who will prove their haters wrong this season.


#5 Paul Pogba (Juventus)

Manchester United vs Norwich City - Premier League
Manchester United vs Norwich City – Premier League

Paul Pogba has had a flying start to the 2021/22 season, providing as many as four assists in Manchester United’s Premier League opener against Leeds United. He then collected two assists on his second outing against Newcastle United.

But it went pretty much downhill from there. Pogba has often been called out for his appalling work rate and decision making. In the 0-5 humiliation against Liverpool at Old Trafford, he got the red card straight away.

The Frenchman also hobbled off in the second leg at Anfield ten minutes after Luis Diaz opened the scoring for the Merseysiders. Pogba’s loyalty to the badge has always been questioned at Manchester United.

Now he’s back at Juventus, a club where he previously enjoyed great success. Pogba is one of the most technically gifted footballers in the world and should feel right at home in Turin. He’s also unlikely to prove his critics wrong, likely showing them he’s still one of the best central midfielders in the game this season.

#4 Neymar Jr (Paris Saint Germain)

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16, second leg – UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16, second leg – UEFA Champions League

In the 2021/22 season, Neymar Jr. was booed after Paris Saint-Germain were knocked out of the Champions League round of 16. His constant injury woes have become a source of frustration for the club and its fans.

However, Neymar ended the 2021-22 season on a high note. He was in pretty good form in the closing stages of last season but will know he needs to do more to win PSG fans back.

Neymar will be a man on a mission this season. He has already revealed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup could be his last World Cup and he wants to make this campaign a memorable experience for both club and country.

#3 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

Melbourne win over Manchester United
Melbourne win over Manchester United

Marcus Rashford played in pain during the 2020-21 season. He finally had shoulder surgery at the start of last season but has had a very hot period getting reintegrated into the team. Rashford looked off the pace and it was natural he wasn’t at his best as he recovered from the break.

Last season he scored just five goals and provided two assists in 31 games in all competitions for Manchester United. Those are startling numbers from one of the most talented strikers of his generation.

But Rashford busted his socks off in preseason and is looking fitter than ever at the moment. He has also looked good in Manchester United’s two friendlies so far. Rashford is a quality player who can run rings around his opponents all day.

His hitting power is excellent and he is also one of the fastest attackers in the game. New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has a history of producing the best players of Rashford’s profile. This should be a great season for the Englishman.

#2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Manchester United v Brentford - Premier League
Manchester United v Brentford – Premier League

The jury is out on whether or not Cristiano Ronaldo disrupted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s fluid attacking department last season. His positional rigidity may have definitely hampered the course of things, but his arrival was a huge boon for Manchester United in one of their worst campaigns in recent history.

Under Ten Hag, Manchester United will have a new philosophy and identity. Ronaldo can silence his haters by proving he can fit into the new manager’s system like a charm, not stick out like a thumb. The legendary striker has made a career of silencing his critics and proving his haters wrong.

This shouldn’t be a big problem for Ronaldo and he should be able to have another great season for Manchester United.

#1 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint Germain)

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16, second leg – UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid – Paris Saint-Germain: Round of 16, second leg – UEFA Champions League

The consensus is that Lionel Messi’s debut season at Paris Saint-Germain has been quite underwhelming given his own high standards. Messi’s playmaking was exceptional at times, but he was nowhere near his best goals.

The 35-year-old scored just 11 goals and provided 15 assists in 34 games in all competitions for PSG last season. The fact that he failed to take off in Paris is understandable given that Messi had only played for Barcelona in his career prior to last season.

Now that the initial rust is over and Messi is more comfortable in Paris, we expect him to return to his best form this season. That means PSG supporters are in for a treat in the upcoming season.


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Linh

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