Thursday, June 05, 2014

Players to watch out for at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

#1 Alessio Cerci  (Italy)

Italy's Alessio Cerci is elite in a free-roaming central role.
Cerci can play as a winger or second striker. He is not exactly a No. 9, nor is he a No. 10, but playing predominantly in a forward role for Torino in Serie A, he ended this season with 13 goals and 11 assists.
Cerci is a naturally left footed player, with excellent technique and remarkable quickness, playing mainly as a winger. He can play on both wings, but prefers the right, from which he can cut inside and shoot with his preferred foot, but if Italy need a game-winning moment, then throw Cerci up front and see what he can do. He is a trump card for Italy.
Internationally, Cerci has represented Italy right through from under-16 to Italy under-21 levels. He made his senior international debut in March 2013 in a friendly match against Brazil.

Italy are in Group D with Uruguay, Costa Rica and England.

#2 James Rodriguez  (Columbia)

A strong, powerful, explosive attacking midfield player that loves to run at defenders. The 22 year-old is considered as one of the very best young talents in South America. He is a massively important player for both his club, French giants AS Monaco and his country.
In May 2013, Rodríguez joined French side AS Monaco from FC Porto for a transfer fee of €45 million, thus making it the second most expensive transfer in Portuguese football. At Porto Rodriguez won the Portuguese Golden Ball award in 2012 becoming the second Colombian after Radamel Falcao to win the award, as well as being the youngest player ever to hold the honor.
In his debut season for Monaco he helped them secure a spot in the Champions League, was named in the French Ligue 1 star XI team, as well as becoming the French Ligue 1 top assist player.
Rodriguez is an exiting player and it will be interesting to see how he does in the 2014 World Cup.

Columbia are in Group C along with Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.

#3 Paul Pogba  (France)

Pogba is a French international footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus in Serie A. He began his career at Le Harve before joining Manchester United in 2009. Pogba made his Premier League debut against Stoke City on 31st January 2012. On 3rd July 2012 Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Pogba had left the club, after not signing a new contract, and on the 3rd August he joined Juventus on a four-year contract.
Pogba is a French youth international and has earned caps at all levels for which he has been eligible.
Pogba was the captain of the team that won France's first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2012. In that tournament held in Turkey.  He was named the best player of the tournament.
He received the 'Golden Boy' award for 2013, given to the best under-21 player in Europe.
On 22 March 2013, Pogba made his debut for the French senior team in a World Cup qualifier against Georgia.
In January 2014, he was named by The Guardian as one of the ten most promising young players in Europe.

France are in Group E with Honduras, Ecuador and Switzerland.

#4 Kevin De Bruyne  (Belgium)

The young Beligian is one of many exiting young talents in a Belgian squad, that have a fantastic set up, with a great mix of experienced players and young talent. The former Genk and Chelsea man is now plying his trade in Germany with Vfl Wolfsburg. Wolfsburg signed De Bruyne for a fee of £18 million in January 2014.
While at Stamford Bridge the West London club loaned the 22 year-old out to Werder Breman. His spell there was hugely successful and he won the 'Bundesliga Young Player of the Year 2012–13.'
He is a great player and he has been capped by Belgium at under-18, under-19, and under-21 level. He made his debut for the Belgian senior team on 11th August 2010.
De Bruyne became a regular member of Belgium's team during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, where he scored four goals as the Red Devils qualified for their first major tournament in 12 years.

Belguim are in Group H with South Korea, Russia and Algeria.

#5 Josip Drmić  (Switzerland)

Born of Croatian descent Drmić began his playing career at FC Zürich.
In July 2013, Drmić joined Bundesliga club FC Nürnberg. He finished his first season with 17 league goals, the third most by any player in the league, but his team were relegated.
Less than a month ago Drmić agreed to sign a five-year deal with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, for an undisclosed fee, despite interest from Arsenal.
On 11th September 2012, Drmić won his first cap for the Switzerland senior team in a 2–0 2014 World Cup qualifying win over Albania.

Switzerland are in Group E with Honduras, France and Ecuador.

#6 Daley Blind  (Netherlands)

Daley Blind has gone from an easy target for disgruntled Ajax fans believing he was only in the team due to his father (Danny Blind, a five-time Eredivisie winner with Ajax) to one of the most complete footballers in the Netherlands.
On 7th December 2008, Blind made his debut in the Ajax first team.
In 2013 Blind was voted 'AFC Ajax Player of the Year' for the 2012/13 season.
He is a high quality left-back who has also has become a wonderful orchestrator of play in midfield.
With Roma's Kevin Strootman set to miss the FIFA World Cup after a cruciate ligament injury, Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal may consider playing 24 year-old Blind in midfield.
Daley Blind made his debut for the Netherlands national team on 6th February 2013, in the starting left back position, against Italy in a friendly encounter at the Amsterdam Arena.

The Netherlands are in Group B with Chile, Australia and Spain.

#7 Fernandinho  (Brazil)

Fernandinho may not have the superstar reputation of Neymar or a widely recognised name like Hulk, but the Manchester City central midfielder is one of the best players in his position.
He started his career at Brazilian club Atlético Paranaense before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005, where he became one of the best foreign players to ever play in the Ukraine Premier League.
With Shakhtar, he won six Ukrainian Premier League titles, four Ukrainian Cups and the 2008–09 UEFA Cup.
He is well known for his blistering pace and ability to shoot from long distances. He is described as 'a defensive midfielder' with a box to box style of play, contributing in large part to the defense and the attack. With a powerful shot and great passing range, Fernandinho plays an important part in breaking up opposition attacks and creating goal scoring opportunities.
The five time tournament winners are hot favorites to be crowned World Champions again, but Fernandinho must start every game if Brazil are to win the tournament for the sixth time.

Brazil are in Group A with Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico.

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