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The Essential 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies Guide

The World Cup 2022 is upon us. The most significant sporting event the world has ever known. Even though Qatar is raising some serious controversy as a host, the excitement for soccer fans is undeniable.

Panini released its main card product for the tournament, the 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup release. And we have you covered with an over of the 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies.

Keep in mind that while I took the likelihood of a 2022 World Cup breakout into account as a vital factor in the calculations, that is not the only thing going into the equation. I am also thinking of their long-term collectability.

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Tier 1 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies

These are the players most likely to make a very significant impact on the Qatar World Cup. These guys are so promising that even if they have lackluster competition, they are more than likely to enjoy long successful careers in the sport.

Julian Alvarez – Forward and winger – Argentina

Julian is a tricky winger/forward who can move around the box at will. After solid performances for River Plate (54 goals and 31 assists in 122 games), the 22-year-old made his way to Manchester City.

Legendary coach Pep Guardiola said he has what it takes to become an elite player, as “he is humble and positive” and noted that Julian “always the sense to be involved in the right areas. When he drops, he has the quality to play.” We trust in Pep. So keep an eye out because Alvarez may be peaking at just the right time.

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Gabriel Martinelli – Forward and winger – Brazil

In my humble opinion, Martinelli is one of the most gifted players in the world. He isn’t quite a household name yet, but anyone paying attention to the Premier League over the last two seasons has noticed his impeccable technique.

And with room to grow, Gabriel is precisely the kind of investment you want going into a major tournament like this.

Keep in mind that Brazil is highly hyped and has a bad habit of collapsing in these situations in the past. But Martinelli is a stellar investment nonetheless. He is only 21 years old, and it’s hard to think of anyone that age with more raw talent.

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Jonathan David – Forward – Canada

Jonathan David was born in Brooklyn, but unfortunately for the USMNT, his family moved to Canada, and he now represents the “Great White North.” We are not used to top-notch Canadian players, but this forward is thoroughly elite.

I can’t think of another player who combines deadly instincts in front of the goal with a tireless work rate like this guy. And though David has 37 goals for Lille and 22 for Canada (in only 35 games!), his reputation can still grow since he plays for a relatively small team.

The sky is the limit for this lethal Canadian.

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Luka Sucic – Midfielder – Croatia

Sucic is very young and unproven. But he has an apparent knack for goalscoring, which you can’t teach, and is fantastic for card value. Luka Sucic is also coming up with Red Bull Salzburg, which has an outstanding record of bringing up young talent.

And his creative passing is top-notch as well. He may not be quite ready to shine in Qatar, but Sucic is a great one for the future.

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Andreas Skov Olsen – Winger – Denmark

This tricky winger couldn’t quite make it with Bologna in Serie A. But in retrospect, he was just a little green for such a high level. Now with Brugge, Andreas has scored 12 goals in 30 appearances.

Quite the haul for a winger. But his best weapon is the deadly crosses the Dane launches from both sides of the pitch. As a result, Olsen has also become one of the most important cogs in the Danish team.

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Piero Hincapie -Center back – Ecuador

Defenders aren’t usually hot stuff on the card market. But Piero Hincapie may be an exception. Scouts had dubbed him the best defensive player in South America, and all the big teams chased this guy.

Hincapie ended up at Bayer Leverkusen and quickly became a regular. Most scouts believe it won’t be long before he is a starter for Real Madrid or a team of that caliber.

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Aurelien Tchouameni – Defensive midfielder – France

Tchouameni has risen to the top of his profession, taking the anchoring role in the Real Madrid midfield and occupying the same space for the Les Blues. As a 21-year-old last season, he was without a doubt the best midfielder in Ligue 1.

He had a fantastic pass completion rate of 87%, alongside 2.5 tackles and 2.9 interceptions per game. So, when Madrid splashed over 90 million dollars on Aurelien, it was no surprise.

He is a worthy successor to Patrick Viera in Les Blues, the highest compliment you could ever pay a defensive midfielder. So, even though we don’t usually associate this position with tremendous value, Tchouameni is an exception to that rule.

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David Raum – Left back or left side of midfield – Germany

Raum could easily make a mark in Qatar with his restless runs up and down the flank. We are talking about a guy who led the Bundesliga in sprints last season and the entire continent in crosses provided.

He reminds me of the tireless and wildly underrated Philipp Lahm. And anyone who remembers that guy in big tournaments knows that is one hell of a compliment.

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Karim Adeyemi – Forward – Germany

Karim is one of the world’s fastest and most terrifying young forwards. The daredevil is one of the countless first-rate youth talents to come to prominence at Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, where he scored 27 goals in 68 appearances.

But, as a reminder, the dude is only 20 years old. He recently moved to the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund and has yet to score any top-league goals there. We know that few players have his speed and explosiveness.

What is still unknown is how reliable a scorer Adeyemi will be at the top levels. My guess is he will do great.

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Marcelo Flores – Winger and attacking midfielder – Mexico

This tiny dynamo (listed as 5″ 5 but looks even smaller) has broken into the El Tri squad at age 19. Flores models his game after Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard, and I see his point.

The creativity is there. The Guardian named him one of the best 60 young players in the world for its Generation Next project, and Arsenal has big plans for the youngster. Marcelo may not be quite ready for stardom in Qatar, but his time will come.

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Cody Gakpo – Winger – Netherlands

Cody is the latest in a seemingly endless strong of creative Dutch wingers going back to the 1970s. He is by far the most effective player in the Netherlands in terms of creating chances, with an insanely high 3.25 per game from set pieces and 1.98 per game from open play.

But players have difficulty marking him because Gakpo can also dribble past you. And with 36 top-flight goals at age 23, he’s also a scoring threat. So a strong performance in Qatar will be the springboard the winger needs to earn a spot in one of the top clubs.

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Diogo Costa – Goalkeeper – Portugal

Costa is an assured goalkeeper who makes few mistakes. His confidence belies Diogo’s 22 years. His calm nerves and sure hands will give Portugal the confidence it needs in the back.

It is hard to believe that Costa will remain at Porto for long, and he may end up being one of the greatest Portuguese keepers ever.

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Kacper Kozlowski – Central midfield – Poland

It is doubtless hyperbole, but some have dubbed Kozlowski the next De Bruyne. But I see it. He has the same versatility and can play at the back of midfield or even as a false nine.

Kacper has fabulous ball movement and is equally good at threading the ball through the defense and lobbing crosses into the box. And he is doing all this at age 19 in the Dutch league and for his country. It won’t be long before he is signed by one of the super clubs.
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Nuno Mendes – Left back – Portugal

A fearsome and swaggering menace on the left side of the pitch, Mendes combines skill and physical potency into an impressive package. With his footwork and strength, he will likely become a top wingback, and PSG is expecting big things. Unfortunately, so far, he lacks consistency. But that is likely to improve.

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Hannibal Mejbri – Central midfield – Tunisia

Though only 19 years old, Hannibal has been familiar to European scouts for a while. Manchester United purchased the player in 2019 and believes in his potential. He moved to Birmingham City in 2022, where he has been getting regular minutes. Why is he so highly touted?

Mejbri is a fire-breathing hard tackler with an immense amount of creativity. It could go either way with players like this. But Hannibal has tremendous upside.

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Ricardo Pepi – Forward – United States

If you are an American soccer fan, you are probably well aware of Ricardo Pepi. He’s a natural scorer, who at 19-years-of-age is already getting regular minutes in the Dutch leage. Pepi has also piqued the interests of some of the bigger clubs in the world.

The good side of his renown is there is a market for Pepi cards, and American players are always famous. The downside is, of course, prices are already high. There are also other Pepi rookies that are pretty popular. Nonetheless, if Pepi has a great tournament, this will be THE rookie card to have.

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Gavi – Central midfield – Spain

An 18-year-old who has broken into the starting lineup of a World Cup contender is an exceptional player. It isn’t rare for players this age to have tremendous talent, and Gavi has it in spades.

He’s an excellent tackler and top-rate passer. But what sets him apart is the consistency with which he puts together the highest level of performance. It is a cliché to compare him to Andres Iniesta, but Gavi is simply too similar to ignore the similarities. A gem of a player.

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Yeremy Pino – Forward and winger – Spain

Pino may be of small stature at 5″ 8, but he makes a massive impact. His passing and dribbling are phenomenal, and he is shockingly good with his head for a little guy.

Yeremy also has the versatility that is highly valued by the bigger teams. So, chances are, he is headed for a great future. Pino has gotten some opportunities for Spain in the run-up to the competition so we may see some flashes of brilliance in Qatar.

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Kamaldeen Sulemana – Winger – Ghana

As an 18-year-old, Sulemana banged in 14 goals for Danish side FC Nordsjælland. So naturally, that form attracted attention, and soon the big Premier League teams were tracking the kid.

So obviously, the Ghanese winger can score. But it’s the insane dribbling that has caught the eye of scouts throughout the continent. Rennes from Ligue 1 ended up garnering his services, and time will tell if he can excel at that level. But he has a very good chance.

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Noah Okafor – Winger – Switzerland

Okafor is the kind of versatile and speedy winger big teams lap up. Noah also has an eye for goal, which many players like him lack, so the upside is tremendous.

Switzerland will be heavily reliant on his creativity, so this seems like a good one to go with for Qatar.

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Tier 2 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies

The players in this tier are all talented enough to have strong careers. However, their positions, age, or talent mean that their ceilings are probably somewhat lower than superstardom. But lord knows, I have been wrong before.

Albert Sambi Lokonga – Central midfield – Belgium

The World Cup comes at a good time for Lokonga. After years as the generalissimo of the Anderlecht midfield, the Belgian moved to London in 2021. The midfielder has just broken into the first team at Arsenal and has been part of their tremendous run in recent weeks.

The only problem is that he has little international experience. Albert made his debut in September 2021 and has not featured regularly since.

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Bruno Guimaraes – Central midfield – Brazil

Bruno is a bit older than you would like for a rookie. But World Cup rookies are a weird thing anyway. Guimaraes is a crowd favorite at Newcastle FC, where he has been the engine for the overperforming Toons.

Bruno has scored eight goals in the Premier League so far, so far, he seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time.

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Ike Ugbo – Forward – Canada

Ike is a promising forward, currently playing for Troyes in Ligue 1. Once considered a top prospect, Ugbo failed to make an impact at Chelsea as a teenager.

After years of underperforming, he had a sensational 2021-22 season for Genk in Belgium. Still, he has yet to replicate that form for Canada. 

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Stephen Eustaquio – Central midfield – Canada

A solid central midfielder, Eustaquio plays for Porto in the Portuguese top league. Indeed, he played for the Portuguese under-21 team but elected to go senior for Canada.

Stephen has been a dependable presence in the team’s highly impressive qualification campaign.

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Tajon Buchanan – Forward – Canada

Tajon is a 23-year-old forward with an elegant dribble and impressive finishing chops. Nonetheless, we can expect him to play second-fiddle to Jonathan David in the Canadian attack.

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Borna Sosa – Left back – Croatia

Borna was involved in a bit of a scandal when he considered representing Germany instead of his native country. Sosa is a slick modern left-back with some offensive oomph. But, of course, his good looks and charisma don’t hurt, either.

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Josko Gvardiol – Center back and left-back – Croatia

At age 20, Josko is already a starter for Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Moreover, he is one of the league’s most offensively adventurous and effective defensive players. So, despite his position, there is some upside here.

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Lovro Majer – Attacking midfield – Croatia

Croatia has a long tradition of fearsome playmakers in the mold of Luka Modric and Zvonimir Boban. Majer may be that good. He was named to the best eleven in Ligue 1 last season after a fabulous campaign where he scored six goals and made nine assists.

The Croatians consistently punch above their weight, and he is a lynchpin for them. So, one to keep an eye on.

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Jesper Lindstrom – Winger and central midfielder – Denmark

Jesper is a superb dribbler who guides the transition from defense to attack. So, we can expect him to influence the Danish team. However, probably not the sort of decisive effect that will dramatically raise his card value.

Nonetheless, Lindstrom is a highly influential player who should enjoy a strong career.

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Mohamed Daramy – Forward – Denmark

Mo is originally from Sierra Leone but has opted to play for his adopted country. They will be thrilled that he has. Daramy is one of the brightest talents in Scandinavia. Only 20 years old, the forward has already scored 13 top-flight goals.

But with his electric dribbling abilities and creative flair, that is likely just the start of what should be a highly productive career. The main question is if Mo is yet ready for this big stage. He is probably not quite there.

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Gonzalo Plata – Winger – Ecuador

There is a lot to like about this winger. Plata has outstanding passing and dribbling skills. The Ecuadorian is also very tactically astute.

Unfortunately, he isn’t much of a scorer. Stille, Gonzalo adapted quickly to European soccer and looks very comfortable in La Liga for Valladolid and will be one of the more visible members of the Ecuador team.

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Jeremy Sarmiento – Winger – Ecuador

Jeremy is taking a hard road to stardom and trying to break directly into a Premier League squad. That gamble has paid off, and the Ecuadorian has received a fair share of minutes for Brighton & Hove Albion this season.

His former coach, Graham Potter, thinks very highly of the player: “He can receive the ball behind the lines of the midfielders in tight spaces, turn quickly and drive at defenses. That is a rare attribute.” But he is very untested and probably not ready to make an impact in Qatar.

Moises Caicedo – Central midfield – Ecuador

Another Ecuadorian playing for Brighton & Hove Albion. Caicedo is a bit more mature but has less upside than Sarmiento.

He also plays further back, so he is a bit less likely to be a star. But Moises has more international experience and may be the more impressive of the two in Qatar.

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William Saliba – Center back – France

Breaking into the starting eleven for a team like France is always impressive, and doubly so at age 21. A recent signing for Arsenal, Saliba has proven that he is Premier League material. And to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if you can make it at Emirates Stadium, you can make it anywhere.

Though a defender, Saliba is in the 98th percentile of defenders for offensive participation. So, between his raw talent and adventurous proclivities, we may be looking at one of those rare defensive stars.

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Ao Tanaka –Central midfield – Japan

Tanaka is an outstanding midfield general. At age 24, he is a bit of a late bloomer, but now he has been given a shot at Bundesliga stardom with Fortuna Düsseldorf and should have an essential role with the Samurai Blue in Qatar.

Likewise, Ao proved himself invaluable in the Olympics, and there is a good chance he will excel at this level.

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Min-jae Kim – Center back – South Korea

26-year-old center backs aren’t usually a top rookie card. But Min-jae isn’t a typical defender. We are talking about a 6″ 3 behemoth who is also elegantly light on his feet. One scout described him as having “almost no physical weakness; speed, strength, aerial ability.”

It is no wonder that Manchester United is reportedly tracking his every move. Kim seems like just the guy to solve the defensive woes at Old Trafford. So, many eyes will be on the defender in Qatar. But no worries, he will be easy to spot at his size.

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Woo-yeong Jeong – Winger and attacking midfielder – South Korea

A player with immense potential; brought to Bayern Munich as an impressionable youth. Unfortunately, Jeong still hasn’t put it all together and has often found himself on loan or the bench at Munich. But Freiburg has now purchased the winger and may be on the verge of a breakthrough.

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Alexis Vega – Winger, attacking midfielder, and forward – Mexico

Vega seems poised for a big break. He’s a regular for Mexico and will likely start all of their games. He scored in three straight friendlies for the team and is hitting good form at the right time.

Half the Premier League was already watching the versatile player, and the spotlight of Qatar should only help.

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Uriel Antuna – Winger – Mexico

The winger is one of the quickest and most troublesome flank players out there. However, he has never been able to pull the prodigious gifts at his disposal together entirely.

He had his chance with Manchester City but couldn’t break into the team. A strong performance in Qatar would completely turn Uriel’s career around.

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Denzel Dumfries – Center back and right back – Netherlands

The 26-year-old is already a well-known quantity, starring for his country in Euro 2020 and shining in Serie A for Inter Milan. Denzel is a very dangerous player, and his raids on the right side can be devastating.

At times though, he can leave the defense somewhat exposed. Although he is not exactly a rising star, Dumfries is so explosive that this competition could further his already formidable reputation.

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Jurrien Timber – Right back and center back – Netherlands

The 21-year-old is already a starter for Ajax and the Oranje. He is the consummate modern player in terms of tactical acumen and movement without the ball. But he does have the same problem many other Dutch defenders have had through the years, a certain degree of recklessness in joining attacks.

But players as intelligent as Jurrien usually learn from their mistakes, and Ajax is as good a place to learn as any.

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Jakub Kaminski – Winger – Poland

This exciting young winger may not be quite ready for prime time, but he has an exciting future ahead. He’s a keen dribbler and a good passer.

However, right now, he seems to like taking the ball a little bit too much at the expense of movement off possession. Still, he is just starting and will get a good education in the Bundesliga.

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Felix Afena-Gyan – Forward – Ghana

Felix is a dynamic forward who is a Serie A starter before his 20th birthday. That is an excellent sign. But while his technical skills are not in doubt, Djiku has yet to prove a consistent scorer.

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Imran Louza – Central midfield – Morocco

An excellent defensive midfielder with a great work rate and concise tackling skills. Imran should be instrumental to Morocco’s chances of making a run. Imran also has a reasonable goalscoring rate, often from his devastating free kicks. One to watch.

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Bamba Dieng – Forward – Senegal

The Marseille forward is known for his lightning speed. But he isn’t just one of those demons who runs like a headless chicken. Instead, Dieng has admirable poise in front of the goal.

Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli says of Bamba, “He has a lot of explosiveness and a good quality of shot. He’s a player with great potential for the club.” And that is saying a lot because Sampaoli is unusually demanding.

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Strahinja Pavlovic – Center back – Serbia

A good and robust young defender, trained at the young prodigy incubator at Red Bull Salzburg. So, there is potential here. He is already the anchor of the Serbian defense and their go-to man-marker.

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Facundo Pellistri – Winger- Uruguay

Pellistri is a flashy young winger with potential. But he does not have a track record of scoring goals. I seriously doubt he will break that drought at the highest level. Nonetheless, he is only 20 and already playing for Manchester United and starting in Uruguay. Facundo may have a great future ahead.

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Jewison Bennette – Winger – Costa Rica

An intriguing young player. Jewison can play on either wing and is at his best in one-on-one situations. However, at 18, he has little experience and would probably not be in the running for a spot for most teams.

But Costa Rica is short on big stars, and Bennette is a regular in England (albeit for Sunderland and not in the Premier League).

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Tier 3 Of The 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies

These are the players who may have a good tournament, but do not seem like strong long-term investments. So, not complete busts. But close enough.  

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Gonzalo Montiel – Right back – Argentina

Montiel is a defensive player, so not really top of the list for collectors. While many right-backs go up into the attack often and nab goals and assists, this Argentine isn’t that kind of player.

He has only had 3 assists for Sevilla since arriving in 2021. So while you can expect Gonzalo to start for Argentina, he probably won’t be that memorable.

Lucas Martinez Quarta – Center back – Argentina

Lucas is a 26-year-old defender. So, precisely the kind of rookie you don’t want to pull from the pack. But he’s a strong and gifted defender and looks likely to start.

Nahuel Molina – Right back – Argentina

Like his counterpart Gonzalo Montiel, Molina is a defender who doesn’t have much of a record of scoring or passing for assists. So, not much to look at here.

Arthur Theate – Center back – Belgium

Though young and promising, Theate is a defender. Unfortunately, he also doesn’t play for one of the bigger European teams and has yet to establish himself as a starter for Belgium. However, both of those facts may change soon.

Karl Toko Ekambi – Forward – Cameroon

Karl is a solid forward, with 12 goals for Cameroon in his pocket. But he is no spring chicken at 30 and not what you want in a rookie. Still, he has an impressive career scoring record and nabbed 12 in 30 games for Lyon last year. His gritty experience may make an impact in Qatar.

Martin Hongla – Defender and defensive midfielder – Cameroon

Martin is the kind of versatile and dependable player every squad needs. Equally adept in the back or anchoring a diamond, Hongla has won a starting spot for the Indomitable Lions. Still, a star he ain’t.

Alistair Johnston  – Right back – Canada

A solid young defender currently playing for Montreal FC. He has quite a bit of offensive pop for his position. Therefore, a move to Europe after a good tournament is a distinct possibility.

Josip Stanisic – Right-back and center-back – Croatia

The definition of a defensive utility player, Stanisic is a massive asset for Croatia and Bayern Munich. But although the 22-year-old is an excellent player, he doesn’t have the offensive skills to really set himself apart in Qatar.

Ali Gholizadeh – Forward and winger – Iran

Ali is a competent player but not world-class. He is also 26 and has yet to play in one of the best leagues.

Mehdi Taremi – Striker – Iran

Mehdi is a fine striker. He has been one of the most reliable scorers in the history of Iranian soccer, notching 28 goals in 60 appearances.

In recent years Taremi has proven himself consistently for Porto domestically and in Europe. However, at age 30, he won’t be getting much better before decline sets in.

Saeid Ezatolahi – Defensive midfield – Iran

Ezatolahi is a regular for the Iranian side and has anchored their midfield for a while. But he is not an elite midfielder and may get no higher than his current position as a starter in the Danish league.

Junya Ito – Winger – Japan

Ito is a fighter and has pushed himself all the way up from his modest roots in a J2 team in his homeland to Ligue 1 side Reims. In the process, the tricky winger has also established himself as a starter from Japan. But at age 29, he will not be a star.

Kyogo Furuhashi – Forward and winger – Japan

Here is the problem with releasing checklists well before the competition: stuff happens. Furuhashi seemed a shoe-in for the Japanese squad, but coach Hajime Moriyasu dropped him in a last-minute change.

If you ask me, omitting a player with 22 goals in his 33 appearances for Celtic FC is insane. It’s not like the Samurai Blue have such a surplus of firepower. But no one asked me.

Jae-sung Lee – Attacking midfielder and winger – South Korea

Lee has scored reliably wherever he has gone and made a substantial contribution. That is no mean feat since he has been plying his wares in the Bundesliga since 2018 and is now a starter for Mainz 05. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jae-sung had a strong campaign in Qatar. Still, the player is now 30 years old.

Min-kyu Song – Forward – South Korea

Song is a capable forward and had a couple of good seasons for the Pohang Steelers. However, his move to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors has taken him backward. As a result, I don’t see the forward making much of an impact in Qatar.

Ui-jo Hwang – Forward – South Korea

Hwang has had an admirable career, including a successful stint at Bordeaux in 2019-2022, where he scored 29 goals in 94 appearances. But now, at age 30, he appears to be regressing.

Carlos Rodriguez – Central midfield – Mexico

A hard-working midfielder, Carlos has been a regular for Mexico since 2019. But he does not have the flair or reputation of a future star.

Gerardo Arteaga – Left back – Mexico

The 24-year-old has made his home in Belgium, playing for Genk. In the meantime, he has also become the starter for the El Tri.

His strength in the air and seamless passing style will likely see the player advance to a better league. But stardom is likely not in the cards.

Johan Vasquez – Center back – Mexico

Johan established himself as a Serie A starter at age 24. He seems poised to get a regular spit for El Tri as well. However, he is not more than a reliable defender.

Erick Gutierrez – Midfielder – Mexico

Erick is the kind of midfielder who keeps the game flowing with crisp passing. But he is equally adept at tackling and maintaining possession.

His performances for PSV have been impressive, and a move up soon wouldn’t surprise me. However, Gutierrez is 27 and has a limited ceiling.

Justin Bijlow – Goalkeeper – Netherlands

Justin has not yet earned the starting role between the sticks for the Oranje. But he will eventually earn that spot thanks to fast reflexes and model concentration. Still, he continues to play in the Dutch league and has not yet proved to be a world-class stopper.

Noa Lang – Winger – Netherlands  

The 23-year-old currently plays for Club Brugge in Belgium. But don’t let that mislead you. Noa has world-class potential. He scored a hat trick in his debut for Ajax and hit 16 goals in his first season on loan for Brugge.

The word creative is often used to describe midfielders, but Lang is a bustling paragon of effective chance dispersion. Of course, like many creative players at this career stage, Lang could go either way. But there is a lot to like about this player.

Teun Koopmeiners – Defensive midfielder – Netherlands

Koopmeiners has quickly become a top defensive midfielder in Serie A since moving there in 2021. The Dutch are in safe hands, as he is equally adept at tackling and distributing the ball. Still, Teun doesn’t quite have that star swagger.

Almoez Ali – Striker and winger – Qatar

Ali is probably the flashiest and most exciting player on the Qatar team. He has an outstanding record of scoring 41 goals in 85 appearances for his country. But he did not make the grade in his attempt to play in Austria and Spain.

Anis Slimane – Central midfield – Tunisia

This young and versatile midfielder plays for Brondby, the best team in Denmark. Not a bad scorer and has good passing skills.

Montassar Talbi – Central defender – Tunisia

One of the better players in the Tunisian squad, Talbi, plays in Ligue 1 for Lorient. However, he is a defender without much offensive capability.

Alexander Djiku – Defensive midfielder – Ghana

A good starter in Ligue 1. But at age 28, not the rookie you are praying to pull.

Ryan Mmaee – Forward – Morocco

Ryan is a hard-working forward who has managed to advance his career admirably in the last few years. Born in Belgium, he failed to make a mark in his homeland. But Mmaee rose to prominence as one of the best forwards in the Cypriot league.

He now plays for Ferencváros in Hungary. While he may end up playing at a higher level, he is already 25.

Boulaye Dia – Forward – Senegal

Dia is obviously overshadowed by his strike partner Sadio Mane. But he is also an accomplished forward with a good scoring record in Ligue 1. Still, he is a bit mature (26 years old) from a collecting point of view.

Predrag Rajkovic – Goalkeeper – Serbia

Predrag is a reliable goalkeeper but is nothing to write home about. He is also 27.

Giorgian de Arrascaeta  – Attacking midfielder – Uruguay

This Uruguayan midfielder is one of the better in his position in South America and may make an impression in Uruguay. But at 28, Giorgian is a bit over the hill for a rookie.

Matias Vina – Center back – Uruguay

Vina is a commanding defender who has done well for himself since arriving in Roma last year. However, he is a defender, not a goalscoring one.

Ajdin Hrustic – Attacking midfielder – Australia

A solid attacking option for Hellas Verona. But Hrustic is no star and never will be.

Martin Boyle – Winger and forward – Australia

Boyle is a 29-year-old journeyman attacking option for the Socceroos. Born in Scotland, he also played most of his career up there.

Anthony Contreras – Forward – Costa Rica

You never know with forwards. They can always score an important goal. But I haven’t seen any reason to believe Contreras will be a breakout star at the World Cup.

Joe Rodon – Center back – Wales

Rodon is a big lad, at 6″ 4, and has a powerful presence in the box. Though he has played for some top teams, like Tottenham, he is a 25-year-old non-scoring defender.

Tier 4 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies

If the folks in tier 3 are unlikely to impact, the tier 4 players will definitely not make waves in the hobby. Nothing against these players.

Being a World Cup starter means you are top-notch. But some of these will raise an eyebrow by being labeled rookies in the first place.

Shop for 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup rookie cards on eBay

Collins Fai – Cameroon

What can I say about a 30-year-old left-back who plays in the Belgian league?

Michael Ngadeu – Cameroon

Now, what should I say about a 31-year-old defender from the Belgian league?

Milan Borjan – Goalkeeper – Canada

Milan is a 35-year-old goalkeeper who has never played in a top league and probably never will.

Joachim Andersen – Center back – Denmark

The Danes feature an excellent crop of rookies in this product. Andersen is also a quality player, but agreed 26 and playing at the back; he can be easily ignored.

Joakim Maehle – Center back – Denmark

This defender has established himself as the bedrock of the Danish back four. But again, age and position militate against card value.

Felix Torres – Center back – Ecuador

Another of a seemingly endless procession of mid-20s defenders on this rookie list. And Felix hasn’t proven himself in Europe yet, either. So, he’s on the low end of that list.

Presnel Kimpembe – Centre back – France

While he’s no Marcel Desailly, Kimpembe is a fine central defender that Les Blues can rely on in Qatar. He led Ligue 1 in challenges won and is an incredibly effective man-marker. But for our purposes, a 27-year-old center back just ain’t it.

Yuta Nakayama – Center Back – Japan

Yuta is a defender and a reasonably mediocre one at that. He plays for EFL team Huddersfield Town and may never make it to the Premier League.

Shuichi Gonda – Goalkeeper – Japan

A 33-year-old goalkeeper who never played outside Japan? Just the kind of rookie card I was looking for! Ok, fine, he had a loan to Austria at some point.

Abdulkarim Hassan – Left back – Qatar

Qatar may be the host nation, but it is not an elite player breeding place. And Hassan is a 29-year-old left back to boot.

Abdulaziz Hatem – Central midfielder – Qatar

Hatem is a mainstay of the Qatari team, with over 100 appearances for them. However, as a 32-year-old, he is unlikely to be the next big thing in the hobby.

Akram Hassan Afif – Winger – Qatar

Unlike a lot of the Qatari players, Afif has played in Europe. But he didn’t exactly set Spain alight at the time.

Hasan Al-Haydos – Forward – Qatar

A 31-year-old forward with an impressive haul of career goals. But has never played out of Qatar.

Pedro Miguel – Defender – Qatar

This Portuguese-born defender is nicknamed Ró-Ró and is particularly beloved in the oil-rich kingdom. But popularity aside, he is a 32-year-old defender.

Saad Al Sheeb – Goalkeeper – Qatar

He’s been the starting Qatari goalkeeper for a very long time. But Al Sheeb is 32 and hasn’t played out of the country.

Aissa Laidouni -Central Midfield – Tunisia

The solid 25-year-old midfielder currently plays in the Hungarian league.

Abdulelah Al-Malki – Midfielder – United States

A 27-year-old midfielder with experience in a top league. You know how it goes.

Fahad Al-Muwallad – Winger – Saudi Arabia

Fahad had a very short spell at Levante in Spain. But at age 28, his ceiling is floor high.

 Mohamed Kanno – Midfielder – Saudi Arabia

The Saudis have a plethora of older players who have played in the Gulf for their entire careers.

Salem Al-Dawsari – Winger – Saudi Arabia

I wish Salem well. But stardom will elude him.

Sultan Al-Ghannam – Right-back – Saudi Arabia

A 28-year-old right-back rookie playing in Saudi Arabia.

Yasser Al-Shahrani – Left back – Saudi Arabia

Yasser is a veteran left-back who recently turned 30.

Iddrisu Baba – Central midfield – Ghana

Baba is a dominant, hard-tackling midfielder. But he lacks creativity and is now 26 years old.

Adam Masina – Left back – Morocco

A reliable left-back. Not much here from a collector’s point of view.

Bono – Goalkeeper – Morocco

Not to be confused with the U2 legend. Bono is short for Yassine Bounou, the name of the 31-year-old Moroccan goalkeeper.

Bottomline Of The 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies Guide

The 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup is a highly sought-after product. But its rookies are a bit odd. Still, our 2022 Panini Prizm World Cup Qatar Rookies guide will help you make the most of this crop Most players haven’t played in major tournaments before, regardless of age. Some teams are filled with 30-year-old rookies.

And as you can see, the top tier is loaded. There are plenty of excellent players with RC in the corner. So, ripping this product should be great fun.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is the emeritus editor of Cardlines. He continues to write for several hobby outlets, including this one and Cardbase. He collects primarily vintage baseball and soccer and has a weird obsession with 1971 Topps.

In his spare time, Shaiel is sobbing into his bourbon when the Mets lose and playing Dungeons and Dragons. In a past life, Dr. Ben-Ephraim was a political science professor, journalist, and diplomat. But cards are more fun.

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