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In Focus: Five Canada stars to watch as Les Rouges reach first World Cup since 1986
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Paige Simmonds
Canada have reached the World Cup for the first time in 36 years
Canada have reached the World Cup for the first time in 36 years

Canada booked their spot at the World Cup for the first time since 1986 after beating Jamaica 4-0 in their penultimate qualifier.

The North Americans have only made one finals and are yet to win a game at the global showpiece but will hope to improve on that record with a talented squad.

LiveScore pick out five Les Rouges stars to look out for when they take to the field in Qatar.

Alphonso Davies

Alphonso Davies unfortunately missed out on Canada sealing qualification due to a heart problem that has kept him sidelined since the start of the year, but streamed the match live, breaking down in tears when the final whistle blew.

The Bayern Munich left-back, 21, is regarded as one of the best defenders in the world due to his pace, dribbling and creativity.

He is back in training for Bayern and that will be music to Julian Nagelsmann's ears as he looks to secure domestic and European glory.

And Canadian fans will be desperate to see their 30-cap talisman — who usually plays as a winger for his country — fit this winter after his five goals and eight assists in 13 games powered their qualification bid.

Davies’ career could have been a whole different story with Manchester United letting the defender slip through their grasp in 2018 after he declined a three-week trial to train with Canada's Olympic team.

Jonathan David

Jonathan David has been making waves for Ligue 1 champions Lille, scoring the crucial winner against Paris Saint-Germain that put them on course to win the French title last season.

The striker picked up where he left off this term and is the French top-flight's fifth-highest scorer with 13 strikes.

Arsenal and Liverpool have both been linked with a move for David and 20 goals in just 27 international caps — including a hat-trick against Suriname in qualifying — will have caught the eye.

David, 22, could face a big decision this summer as a move will affect his playing time before the World Cup.

But after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's exit, Arsenal would be a tempting prospect with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah's contracts set to expire this summer.

Cyle Larin

Cyle Larin will be one of Canada's main goal threats in Qatar
Cyle Larin will be one of Canada's main goal threats in Qatar

Cyle Larin netted the opener for Canada in their win over Jamaica and leads the CONCACAF qualifying scoring charts with 13 strikes in 15 outings.

The 26-year-old initially struggled in Europe after Besiktas came calling in 2018.

But after finding his feet in a loan spell with Belgium outfit Zulte Waregem, he scored 19 goals in 38 league appearances to fire his side to the Turkish Super Lig title last season.

West Ham were linked with a move in January, with Everton, Newcastle and Brighton among the clubs believed to be plotting a summer swoop.

Larin's contract is up at the end of the season and Canada boss John Herdman will be keeping a close eye on where his focal point ends up as he bids to get his country through their group for the first time ever.

Junior Hoilett

Reading forward Junior Hoilett scored Canada's third against Jamaica with a composed finish.

The trickster, 31, has enjoyed a long career in English football after joining Blackburn as a youngster, playing over 100 games for QPR and Cardiff.

And he has brought that experience into the national set-up — netting 14 times in 44 caps.

Hoilett is not a consistent goalscorer and does not possess the sheer talent of Davies but do not be surprised if he scores a trademark long-range curler in Qatar.

Junior Hoilett has had a tough season with relegation-threatened Reading
Junior Hoilett has had a tough season with relegation-threatened Reading

Tajon Buchanan

Another goalscorer in last Sunday's key victory, Tajon Buchanan made his name in MLS with New England Revolution before joining Club Brugge in 2021.

After a year on loan at his former outfit, the 23-year-old winger got his first taste of European football in January and has two assists in eight league games since completing his switch.

Buchanan scored three times in qualifying and also laid on four for his team-mates which is good enough for third in the assists chart — four behind team-mate Davies in the No1 spot.

His time in Belgium should help his development and with all eyes on Davies, Larin and David, the Brugge playmaker may just find space to make an impact.



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