The Canadian Men’s National Team are ready to take part in their first World Cup since 1986.
36 long years have gone by since Les Rouges arrived in Mexico, only to be sent home with zero points from a group containing France, the Soviet Union, and Hungary.
Since then, however, Canadian soccer has been undergoing a revolution that’s picked up serious pace in the past few years. Canada are very quickly stepping out from the shadow of the United States and Mexico with a crop of players more talented than any that has come before.
This list of the best five head to Qatar should prove that point:
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Buchanan is enjoying his time in Europe. / BSR Agency/GettyImages
Tajon Buchanan is making steady progress in his transition to European soccer, scoring two goals and assisting another four in 28 appearances across all competitions so far.
That comes off the back of an impressive spell with the New England Revolution, where he was a key player in their record-setting 2021 Supporters’ Shield triumph.
Buchanan is a winger by trade but has more often figured as a wing-back for both Brugge and Canada. At just 23 years old, the best is yet to come.
Borjan offers Canada precious top-level experience. / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
At 35 years old, this might well be the only World Cup Milan Borjan gets to play at, but he’s sure to make it count.
The veteran goalkeeper is immensely experienced having played in the Champions League and Europa League with Red Star Belgrade, while he’s also a five-time champion in Serbia and Bulgaria combined.
Borjan – capped 67 times for Canada – made a habit of coming up with big saves at key moments during qualifying and will be required to do so again.
Larin is Canada’s record goalscorer. / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages
While Buchanan is enjoying his time with Brugge, Cyle Larin is yet to find his best form. However, his 39-goal spell with Besiktas that yielded a Turkish Super Lig title should tell you everything you need to know about his quality.
If you’re still not convinced, how about the fact he’s Canada’s record goalscorer with 25 goals in 54 caps?
There are bigger names on the roster, but Larin will carry a lot of attacking responsibility.
David is a title-winner in France. / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages
Just behind Larin on Canada’s list of top scorers is Jonathan David, who has 22 goals in just 34 caps – at a phenomenal rate of 0.65 goals per game.
David has been in stunning form at club level, too, since joining Lille from Gent in 2020, scoring 37 goals in 90 Ligue 1 appearances (76 starts) so far and helping Les Dogues to the title in 2021.
At 22, this could be the first of many World Cups for David, who is starting to attract the attention of some huge European clubs.
Alphonso Davies is the star for Canada. / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages
Alphonso Davies isn’t just the star of the Canadian team; he’s one of the most exciting young players at this World Cup.
At this point, what superlatives or complements remain that haven’t already been offered up to Davies? He’s come a long way since his days in MLS with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Davies is the starting left-back for Bayern Munich which speaks volumes in itself. But for Canada, he’ll return to his roots as a winger. Expect this Bundesliga and Champions League-winning 22-year-old to wreak havoc on opposition defenders with his pace and skill.
Who else to look out for:
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