February 4, 2023

A total of 30 players have represented the Sky Bet English Football League at the World Cup.

A total of 26 players from the Championship traveled to Qatar from 19 different clubs, while there were also two from League One and two more from League Two.

Of those 30, 18 were given the chance to have their caps expanded by their respective national managers, while QPR’s Ilias Chair and Burnley’s Anass Zaroury remain in the Middle East, with Morocco having booked a quarter-final with Portugal after their historic last 16 shootout win against Spain, although neither have played yet.

Here’s how each player made it through the tournament…

Australia

Riley McGree from Australia
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Riley McGree from Australia

from Middlesbrough Riley McGree started all four of Australia’s matches in Qatar as Graham Arnold’s side reached the last 16, where they were knocked out by Argentina. The 24-year-old midfielder assisted Mathew Leckie’s winner against Denmark in the group stage and delivered a player of the match performance at Al Janoub Stadium.

Meanwhile Stoke defender Harry Southtar played every minute of the Socceroos campaign and was a rock in the back during the 1-0 wins over Tunisia and Denmark.

Harry Southar from Australia
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Harry Southar from Australia

from Sunderland Bailey Wright made one substitute, coming on as a substitute for McGree in the 74th minute in the win over Denmark.

Cameroon

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Olivier Ntcham from Cameroon

from Swansea Oliver Ntcham made just one substitute appearance during the Indomitable Lions’ time in Qatar. The 26-year-old midfielder – who only made his debut for the national team in September – replaced Pierre Kunde after 68 minutes of Cameroon’s famous win against Brazil.

Canada

Junior Hoilett of Canada
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Canadian Junior Hoilett

Read Junior Hoilette appeared in all three of Canada’s games in their first World Cup since Mexico ’86. The 32-year-old scored 1.67 shots per 90 and 2.22 chances created per 90, but was unable to score or assist as John Herdman’s men finished bottom of Group F despite a valiant effort.

Costa Rica

The Jew Bennette from Costa Rica
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The Jew Bennette from Costa Rica

Sunderland star Jewish Bennette made three appearances in his first World Cup. The 18-year-old started Costa Rica’s opener against Spain, but was understandably a passenger during the 7-0 humiliation before the highly experienced Bryan Ruiz replaced him after 61 minutes. Bennette did appear as a substitute in the second half against Japan and Germany, but was unable to make any significant personal impact.

Ghana

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Ghanaian Baba Rahman

Reading hire Chelsea Bab Rahman played all of Ghana’s defeats to Portugal and Uruguay and replaced Gideon Mensah late in the thrilling 3–2 win over South Korea.

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Ghanaian Antoine Semenyo

of the city of Bristol Antoine Semenyomeanwhile came on as an 89th-minute substitute in the opening defeat to Portugal and was introduced against Uruguay after 72 minutes, earning him his fourth and fifth caps for his country.

Morocco

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Morocco defeated former champions Spain on penalties to reach the quarter-finals

Morocco reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time with their dramatic shootout win against Spain, so QPR’s Elias chair and Burnley’s Anas Zaroury are the only two players from the Sky Bet EFL to remain in Qatar. However, neither of them has been on the field yet.

Poland

In the run up to the World Cup, Birmingham Kristian Bielik had made just one appearance for Poland since November 2019, but he was included in Czeslaw Michniewcz’s squad for the tournament following a solid start to the season for the Blues, following his summer move from Derby.

Krystian Bielik from Poland
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Krystian Bielik from Poland

The 24-year-old midfielder started against Saudi Arabia and Argentina in Qatar, came on as a substitute against France and Mexico and finished the tournament with an impressive 87 percent success rate.

Senegal

Ismaila Sarr from Senegal
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Ismaila Sarr from Senegal

Watfords Ismaila Sarr was one of Senegal’s star players en route to the last 16. Playing in his second World Cup aged just 24, Sarr started all four of his country’s matches, scoring a first-half penalty in the 2–1 win on Ecuador and missed the chance to give Senegal the lead against England when he fired a shot well over the crossbar.

Iliman Ndiaye from Senegal
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Iliman Ndiaye from Senegal

Sheffield United Eliman Ndiaye continued his meteoric rise from non-League to the world stage in just three years with three appearances in Qatar. The 22-year-old registered an assist as he set up Bamba Dieng in the 3-1 win over Qatar and played the first half against England.

QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng and the mercenary of Porto from Reading Mamadou Loum did not occur.

Tunisia

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Tunisian Hannibal Mejbri

from Birmingham Hannibal Mejbri – on loan from Manchester United – will have gained valuable experience during his World Cup debut in Qatar, given that he only turns 20 in January and the majority of the Tunisian squad is made up of seasoned players aged 27 and over.

Head coach Jalel Kadri introduced him after 80 minutes of the opening game against Denmark, with captain Youssef Msakni making way for the teenager, but those were his only minutes on the pitch during the tournament.

United States

Luton goalkeeper Ethan Horvath did not come off the bench in Qatar, with Arsenal’s Matt Turner retaining the number 1 shirt for each of the USA’s four matches at the tournament.

from Norwich Josh Sargent however, did occur. He started against Wales and Iran and managed just under 80 minutes in both and made a late substitute in the draw with England in between.

Josh Sargent from the US
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Josh Sargent from the US

He managed to create just one chance and attempt three shots in his three appearances, generating an expected goal tally of 0.37 and an expected assist of 0.09, but was unable to play against the Netherlands in the last 16 after a ankle injury against Iran. .

Wales

Nearly half of Wales’ squad was made up of players plying their trade in the Sky Bet EFL – and five of them earned caps in the nation’s first World Cup appearance in 64 years, which ended prematurely in the group stage.

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Connor Roberts of Wales in action against England

Burnley right back Connor Roberts played every minute of Wales’ first 1-1 draw with the US and was replaced by Brennan Johnson after 57 minutes of the eventual 2-0 defeat to Iran in the second group game. Rob Page left the 27-year-old on the bench for the crunch clash against England, but was sent on after just 36 minutes when Neco Williams was injured.

A hamstring problem meant Joe Allen had not made a single appearance for Swansea since 17 September, but his experience was called up 77 minutes after Iran’s defeat and he was declared fit to play against England, completing 81 minutes.

Wales' Jo Allen
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Joe Allen from Wales

Meanwhile Portsmouth midfielder Joe Morell made two appearances as a second-half substitute against the USA and England, Cardiff’s Rubin Colwill came on as an 81st minute substitute in the defeat to England and Huddersfield’s Sorb Thomas was brought on for a late cameo against the USA at 89 minutes.

The remaining seven EFL players – Adam Davies (Sheffield Utd), Ben Cabanga (Swansea), Tom Lockyer (Luton), Chris Gunter (AFC Wimbledon), Matthew Smith (MK Dons), Johnny Williams (Swindon), Mark Harris (Cardiff) – did not make the field.

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