Updated: Oct 13, 2022
From Tokyo to Rio, Munich to Mexico City, GQ presents its starting lineup of the most electric players to watch at World Cup 2022
Article by The GQ Editors
Position: Right wing-back
From his earliest days, it always seemed like Tariq Lamptey would play for England: childhood kickabouts in the London borough of Hillingdon, a place in the prestigious Chelsea Academy, a spot in the first team for Brighton & Hove Albion. After starring for England’s Under-21 team, his place in the national team seemed assured. Then, in 2020, word came that Lamptey was considering switching his affiliation to join Ghana, where his parents are from. A 10-month layoff due to a hamstring injury gave him time to think. When he came back, he asked to be left out of the England U-21 squad, and in July 2022 he announced he would don the Ghana kit in Qatar. For Lamptey, when he’s under the floodlights nothing changes, regardless of the jersey he’s wearing. “Whoever I’m playing for,” he says, “I’m the type of player who tries to leave it all out there on the pitch.” —T.W.
Who’s the most stylish player in football?
Memphis Depay and Karim Benzema really have their own sense of style. They look good in whatever they wear. I think footballers should be able to wear whatever they want. If they feel comfortable, good for them. Embrace it. When it comes to style, just be you.
What’s your favourite childhood World Cup memory?
The one that stands out was South Africa 2010. I was nine years old. Ghana got to the quarterfinals. The vibe was amazing. I watched at home with my family. Everyone was crowded around the TV, waiting for kickoff. We were all so full of raw emotion.
What is your greatest strength as a player?
I grew up playing street football with my brothers and my dad. Then I went into the Chelsea Academy, where I learned the technical side of the game. Both helped me develop. I’m a tenacious player, pacey and hardworking. I’m not showy. I like to keep my head down and let my feet do the talking.
The article is out now in the November 2022 GQ issue. Print available worldwide.