Sports

World Cup 2014 Preview: Get To Know Best Soccer Players

by Intern Jesse Nixon
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Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

It is less than a month until the the beginning of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and I couldn’t be more excited.

The 2010 World Cup captivated me like no other sport and I was hooked ever since.

I remember waking up early on a Saturday morning to watch USA vs. Algeria to determine if USA would make it into the coveted Group of 16.

With their backs against the wall team USA managed an amazing last minute attack that left my nails in disarray.

Below is just a fraction of the pandemonium that resulted from that goal.

Needless to say this year’s World Cup has more thrills in store with team USA facing off against Germany, Ghana, and Portugal in the nicknamed “Group of Death”. Some of the major players in the Group of Death include:

USA

-Clint Dempsey: Given the nickname “Captain America”, Dempsey has consistently been named among the best players in the MLS.

-Landon Donovan: The man who scored the game winning goal against Algeria is back again to push himself and his team to new heights.

Ghana

-Christian Atsu: Fast and impressive, Atsu has the potential to push Ghana to the top of the Group of Death.

Germany

-Mesut Ozil: A midfielder who has been compared to French soccer legend Zinedine Zidane for his finesse, precision and improvisational skills.

-Marco Reus: A rising star in the German league who will be playing beside Ozil as a midfielder. He is know for his technique, speed, and versatility.

Portugal

-Cristiano Ronaldo: Probably one of the most iconic names in soccer, Ronaldo is a force to be reckoned with. The 29-year-old is more than confident that Portugal will move past the Group of 16 for the first time ever and will be a player to watch.

The “Group of Death” won’t play until June 16 with USA facing Ghana and Germany facing Portugal.

What about the other teams though? Any star players we should know about that will be worth watching? Lucky for you, below is a list of some major teams with players who are worthy to watch for the World Cup.

Argentina

-Lionel Messi: Nicknamed “The Atomic Flea” and dubbed one of the best soccer players in the world Messi is joined with other superstars to propel themselves past the quarter finals for the first time ever.

Brazil

-Neymar da Silav Santos: At just 21-years-old this protege is a lightning fast super star that played beside Messi in the English Premier League. Playing on his home soil will definitely make him a crowd favorite and a player to watch.

Spain

-Andres Iniesta: The same man who scored the game winner in the 2010 World Cup Championship, Iniesta is a midfielder who can pass like no other.

England

-Wayne Rooney: One of the most iconic faces in the soccer, Rooney is a forward who can turn a dismal game into a nail-biter. Though his recent season was not spectacular, Rooney is  definitive underdog who can play the field like no other.

-Wilfried Zaha: The secret weapon of England going into the World Cup. The 21-year-old Ivory Coast native has chosen to play for England and will be on the offensive beside Rooney.

Netherlands

-Arjen Robben: After losing against Spain in the 2010 World Cup Final, Robben has been on a tear for Bayern Munich scoring at least 50 goals. Nicknamed “The Flying Dutchmen”, Robben won the 2013 Champions League trophy with Bayern Munich and is determined to hoist the World Cup as well.

-Kevin Strootman: A favorite among fans due to his calm demeanor while handling the ball, Strootman will be playing midfield on the defensive side while being one of the most physical athletes utilizing the slide tackle.

Italy

-Mario Balatelli: Famous for more of his antics off the field than on, Balatelli is no slouch when it comes to keeping up with the best forwards in the world.

-Stephan El-Shaarawy: If Balatelli is the right hand of the Italians then Shaarawy is the left. The 21-year-old attacker has racked up multiple world stages with Italy playing for their under 21 team, under 19 team, and under 17 team.

Uruguay

-Luis Suarez: The bad boy of the World Cup in 2010, he was ejected from the match against Ghana for a blatant hand ball that denied Ghana the game winning goal. Suarez has bitten other players as well as used racial slurs against others, but if there is one thing that Suarez knows how to do is score goals. Obtaining 30 goals this past season, Suarez is in top condition to play his best.

The World Cup official begins on Thursday June 12 with home team Brazil facing off against Croatia.

Don’t see your team or your favorite player listed above? Let us know in the comments below!

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