Posts Tagged ‘Real Madrid’

32 players to keep your eye on in Brazil

32 players to keep your eye on in Brazil

Luis Montes was considered as one of Mexico top scoring threats, and then he broke his tibia and fibula in horrific fashion in a recent friendly against Ecuador. El Tri has a plethora of goal scorers on their World Cup Squad, none more exciting to watch than Gio dos Santos.

Dos Santos has great fundamentals, yet provides some flair to keep you engaged. His speed is one of the more threatening aspects of the Mexican attack, you find him breaking towards goal or serving in crosses from out wide. Dos Santos will no doubt create headaches for the toughest of defenses, including Group A opponent Brazil.

Sergio Ramos is a force to be reckoned with on every square inch of the field. He has scored 36 goals for Real Madrid; not a very high tally for a forward, but he a defender. You may remember his equalizer in the Champions League final, Ramos headed home a goal from a corner kick that fueled Real Madrid to their tenth European championship.

Spain is looking for their fourth consecutive major title; they won the last two Euro tournaments as well as the 2010 World Cup. Ramos has been a big help to this cause, both scoring and preventing goals. His speed and size makes him one of the most dynamic central backs in the entire world; all the while paired next to an equally athletic center back, Gerard Pique, Spain is sure to be an intimidating threat in Brazil.

The Flying Dutchman earned his nickname from his lightning fast feet. Arjen Robben has been pestering defenses for as long as he been playing the game. Even though his right foot is non existent, Robben is able to get quality shots off with his left even though you can see it coming from a mile away. Besides that, Robben ability to weave inside the penalty area and break down opposing defenses is unrivaled.

This will be the third World Cup for one of Australia best players in the history of the Socceroos. Now playing club ball for New York Red Bulls, Tim Cahill isn just a proficient goal scorer, he an intuitive playmaker as well.

Colombia: Juan Fernando Quintero

What he lacks in size he makes up for in speed, precision passing and an absolute rifle of a left foot. At only 21 years old, Juan Quintero is rising through the ranks very quickly for club and country. Quintero is deadly on set pieces and could be involved in just about every goal scoring opportunity in Colombia run.

It has been 10 years since Greece stunned the world and won Euro 2004. Although the Greek fans are hopeful of their heroes repeating the success from a decade ago, it doesn seem at all likely that they win the World Cup. Despite his age, the Greek captain never seems to be running on fumes.

Yaya Toure was Manchester City top scorer in their title run, and he a defensive midfielder. He streaks up and down the field with supreme speed and vision. With the ball, Toure is a brilliant playmaker; on defense, opponents rarely get past him. He is one of the most complete players at the 2014 World Cup.

The Ivory Coast has no shortage of scoring threats. They never made it past the group stage in their previous World Cup appearances, though this is the best opportunity they have. With another capable scorer Didier Drogba up top, goals may come in waves for The Elephants.

The difference of form between club and country is night and day for Keisuke Honda. One of Japan premier attacking players, Honda scored the country first World Cup goal on foreign soil in the 2010 tournament in South Africa. He scored a few more and helped Japan to the knockout stages, where they lost to Paraguay on penalty kicks.

Honda seems poised to repeat 2010 success and perhaps go even further. He scored five goals during the qualifying stages, helping Japan to be the first team to qualify (besides the host nation, Brazil) for the 2014 World Cup. He got the on field swagger and is cool under pressure, not to mention an accurate left foot.

Luis Suarez does not ever play with less than 100 percent effort. The Premier League top goal scorer brings his tenacious style of play to Brazil and he knows he has to score goals in such a difficult group. After all, the best defense is a good offense, right?

In this group of death, Costa Rica aren being given much of a chance to advance in the World Cup. That said, they surely no pushover team. Once they got to the CONCACAF hexagonal, Costa Rica qualified for the World Cup relatively easily. He roams freely throughout the midfield and is able to get past defenders with very good ball control and pace. Ruiz will no doubt be looking for Joel Campbell up top, but he has a tremendous desire to score goals courtesy of his left foot.

Although his fellow countrymen have hurled waves of racism his way, Mario Balotelli continues to shine for the Azzurri. He fast, physical, a powerful and accurate shooter, good in the air, and a bit of a perfectionist. They get one or two goals from the counter attack or set pieces while seldom conceding goals. Coach Cesare Prandelli is a bit more offensive minded than his predecessors and Balotelli thrives in his system. So long as Super Mario is on the pitch, he one of the best out there.

Switzerland is ranked 6th in the current FIFA rankings, mostly due to the fact that they do not concede goals. Knowing this, they will not advance past the group stage with three 0 0 draws, goals will have to come from somewhere. Shaqiri speed, ball control and vision of the field will be most helpful while the Swiss defense sits back.

Ecuador is relatively new to the World Cup scene, making their debut only in 2002. The right winger torments defenses out wide, often creating his own space in very dangerous areas. He among the best in the world at serving crosses into the penalty area. Valencia is also an equal force on defense and is very good in the air.

France barely qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but this doesn mean you should be ready to rule out Les Bleus. Notorious for their on again off again World Cup performances, the French seem to be on track for another deep run. They need a bit of help though; teams can progress through the tournament if they can score goals. In his five seasons with Real Madrid, he scores a goal nearly every other game (72 goals in 159 games). With a quick midfield at his support, Benzema is sure to be the spearhead of the French attack. If all else fails, they got Olivier Giroud to back him up.

As the underdogs of Group E, Honduras can play as if they have nothing to lose; this makes them a dangerous opponent. The strength of this team lies in the defense and midfield. Goal scoring opportunities may seldom be seen for Honduras, so they need to make every opportunity count. before transferring to Wigan last year, helping the Ohio State Buckeyes to an NCAA championship appearance in 2007 and playing in over 100 games for Sporting Kansas City. This playmaker is a very good passer and isn afraid to shoot, no matter where he is on the field.

Lionel Messi is widely considered as the best player in the world that currently playing. Some people are tossing his name in the hat as the greatest ever, better than Pele and Maradona. He relies on his quick feet instead of flair to get by his opponents. Messi has quite a small stature, even for a soccer player, though he isn intimidated by anyone you throw at him. No matter where he is on the field, Messi can put the ball exactly where it needs to be every time. The entire team is worth watching, but Messi will be the most captivating player to watch by far.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Edin Dzeko

Without much argument, Edin Dzeko is the best player on the Bosnia and Herzegovina side. He has helped his clubs win titles in the Premier League and Bundesliga, making him the highest profile player in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic scored 18 goals between the two of them in the qualifying campaign, making them one of the best yet unknown striker pair in the 2014 tournament.

Most players of Iran national team have been playing together since before they were professionals. Their core is a group of veterans but have equally talented youth players on the World Cup squad, including Reza Ghoochannejhad who has scored nine goals in 13 national caps. The Iranians are not expected to advance past the group stage and hold the lowest odds of winning the tournament; but a nation can dream, right?

Nigeria man in the middle covers a tremendous amount of space without ever showing much fatigue. The intensity he brings to his club matches his play at the international level. Mikel scores very few goals, but is instrumental in preventing them. He sure to be involved in every play.

With one of the most complete rosters in the 2014 World Cup, it hard to choose just one German player to keep your eye on this tournament. They have an elite goalkeeper, a stout defense, a dynamic midfield, and technical forwards that the rest of the world could emulate. He only needs one goal to match, and another to surpass, the World Cup record for all time goals. That record is currently held by Ronaldo (the Brazilian legend, not Cristiano) who has 15 goals in 19 World Cup matches. He is currently Germany all time leading goal scorer with 69 goals. At 35 years old, this tournament is the prolific goal scorer last chance to enter the record books.

The reigning World Player of the Year has only two World Cup goals to his name, but that likely about to change. On defense, he pretty much a non factor; on offense though, Cristiano Ronaldo is electrifying. Able to run faster than most people even when he has the ball, Ronaldo has been abusing entire defenses for his entire professional career.

His dribbling skills are in a class of their own, making people who don even like soccer spellbound by his talent. On top of all that, Ronaldo has one of the most powerful shots in the entire world. Unless he held out of the tournament as a result of a Ghanaian shaman, Cristiano will add much to his legacy in Brazil.

Nominees for the Fifa Ballon d

Nominees for the Fifa Ballon d

Andres Iniesta, who netted the winning goal in the Johannesburg final against Holland in July, is among the contenders along with his Barcelona team mates Xavi, Carles Puyol and David Villa.

Spain captain Iker Casillas and his Real Madrid colleague Xabi Alonso also make the shortlist along with Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas.

Fabregas is one of three Barclays Premier League players on the 23 man list of nominees. The others are Chelsea’s Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba and Sunderland’s Ghana frontman Asamoah Gyan.

Barca’s Argentina forward Lionel Messi and Brazil right back Daniel Alves, Atletico Madrid forward Diego Forlan who scored five goals at the World Cup and received the Golden Ball award and Real Madrid pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil make up 11 players nominated from La Liga.

Inter Milan quartet Samuel Eto’o, Julio Cesar, Maicon and Wesley Sneijder are also included after winning an unprecedented Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble last term, with their former boss Jose Mourinho heading the candidates for the inaugural World Coach of the Year award.

Messi is the reigning Ballon d’Or winner and FIFA World Player of the Year.

The awards have now been merged, so the best player in the world will now be recognised by a single accolade the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

The final decisions will be made by the captains and head coaches of the national teams as well as by international media representatives selected by France Football.

Who is the best player on the portugal team at the FIFA world cup

Who is the best player on the portugal team at the FIFA world cup

The 2008 FIFA world player of the year hit a post with what would have been one of the goals of the tournament and was man of the match in the Group G match. But he also picked up a yellow card after losing his cool.

Business as usual then for the Real Madrid forward.

Ronaldo’s frustration built as it became increasingly apparent that he was set to extend a scoreless streak for his country that started 16 months ago.

After two early fouls against him and a 30 yard strike that bounded off the post, Ronaldo was involved in an altercation with Ivory Coast defender Guy Roland Demel on the edge of the penalty area in the 21st minute.

The winger complained about the severity of Demel’s challenge to referee Jorge Larrionda, who responded by showing both players a yellow card.

Ronaldo, the Portugal captain, was fouled five times, causing coach Carlos Queiroz to question whether his player had been protected enough by the referee.

“Ronaldo was the victim of a bad decision,” Queiroz said. “But we don’t like to see our team penalized with yellow cards and I am sure this will not happen again.”

Queiroz praised Ronaldo for the example he showed as captain and his overall contribution.

FIFA’s statistics from the match back up his coach’s assessment. He played the entire match, directed one of his three shots on target, completed 21 of 35 passes and covered 9,577 metres on the pitch at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo showed the best and the worst of his game in Portugal’s opening World Cup match against Ivory Coast.

The 2008 FIFA world player of the year hit a post with what would have been one of the goals of the tournament and was man of the match in the Group G match. But he also picked up a yellow card after losing his cool.

Business as usual then for the Real Madrid forward.

Ronaldo’s frustration built as it became increasingly apparent that he was set to extend a scoreless streak for his country that started 16 months ago.

After two early fouls against him and a 30 yard strike that bounded off the post, Ronaldo was involved in an altercation with Ivory Coast defender Guy Roland Demel on the edge of the penalty area in the 21st minute.

The winger complained about the severity of Demel’s challenge to referee Jorge Larrionda, who responded by showing both players a yellow card.

Ronaldo, the Portugal captain, was fouled five times, causing coach Carlos Queiroz to question whether his player had been protected enough by the referee.