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29th Jun 2018

Four players who have displayed superhuman abilities in Russia this week

Simon Lloyd

Brought to you by Incredibles 2, in cinemas July 13

The group stages are done and dusted over in Russia

Although 16 teams are now on their way home, they’ve all played their part in what’s been an incredible first half of the this summer’s footballing festivities.

England are through, as are most of the usual suspects: Brazil, France, Spain, and Argentina (just). The one major exception is, of course, Germany, with the reigning world champions falling at the first hurdle after defeats to Mexico and South Korea.

Ahead of the release of Incredibles 2, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the players who have best exhibited the qualities of strength, speed, flexibility and defensive-mindedness to find out who have been the most super human performers of the past week.



Lionel Messi

Now hang on. We know what you’re thinking here. Lionel Messi boasts many footballing super powers, but strength might not appear to be an obvious one. However, strength takes different forms, and while Mr. Incredible might use his physical strength to help protect his family, Messi showed his mental strength to help steer his national team out of a very, very sticky situation.

On the wrong end of plenty of criticism for his missed penalty against Iceland and showing the strain ahead of a quiet night in the thrashing by Croatia, Messi stepped up with a piece of magic to score the opener against Nigeria. His words of encouragement also appeared to play their part in Marcos Rojo’s late winner.


Juan Cuadrado

Colombia got their World Cup on track in their second game with a 3-0 win over Poland. Juan Cuadrado’s pace and trickery posed problems all night for the Adam Nawalka’s side and he showed a clean pair of heels when scoring the third. His Dash-like burst onto James Rodriguez’s utterly gorgeous pass saw him pull clear of the Polish defence, slotting the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the goal. Blink and you’ll miss him.

Most flexible

Ricardo Quaresma’s right ankle

Some might call it flexible; others might call it sheer refusal to use his left foot… Whatever it is, Ricardo Quaresma put his 34-year-old ankle ligaments to the test for Portugal the other night, using the outside of his right boot to guide one of his trademark trivela shots into the top corner of the Iranian goal.

Perhaps not quite as impressive as Elastigirl, but still, not bad going…

Admittedly, it’s not quite as impressive / batshit crazy as Milad Mohammadi’s attempts at a throw-in earlier in the tournament, but it did at least yield a goal that helped the European champions book their spot in the knockout rounds.

Most defence minded

Hirving Lozano

Again, we know what you’re thinking: Hirving Lozano is not a defender. Correct, he is not. He did, however, show his determination to muck in for the cause during Mexico’s second game of the tournament.

The PSV Eindhoven winger risked injury in his heroic attempts to block a shot on goal in the early stages of their match against South Korea – turning himself into the kind of one-man forcefield Violet would be proud of. Here, look…

Lozano’s intervention helped Mexico on their way to a 2-1 win, a result which went a long way to clinching their spot in the knockout rounds.

Incredibles 2 is in cinemas July 13