The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

2010 World Cup Squads Overview – Part 1

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So now that all the squads have been declared, the rejected players notified and the squad numbers decided on, here is an overview of each side’s selection:

South Africa

Trump Card: Steven Pienaar – the Everton midfielder is by far and away the Bafana Bafana’s most gifted player, and they will be looking to him for inspiration

Wild Card: Bernard Parker – the former Red Star Belgrade striker didn’t play much of a part in FC Twente’s Eredivisie-winning season but has 9 goals in 29 international appearances, including 2 in the Confederations Cup

Notable Absentee: Benni McCarthy – the veteran striker has been left out by Carlos Alberto Parreira due to a lack of fitness


Trump Card: Rafael Marquez – the Barcelona man will lead his country for a third World Cup in a row, either from centre-back or in front of the defence

Wild Card: Cuauhtemoc Blanco – at the age of 37, the inventor of the bunny hop returns, but does he have it in him to help Mexico to the latter stages?

Notable Absentee: Jonathan dos Santos – the young Barcelona midfielder’s exclusion could yet have a greater impact as brother Giovani has now threatened to walk out


Trump Card: Diego Forlan – one of the best strikers playing in Europe today, he led Atletico Madrid to Europa League glory this year

Wild Card: Nicolas Lodeiro – the highly-rated Ajax midfielder is cited by many pundits as a potential star of the tournament

Notable Absentee: Cristian Rodriguez – the Porto winger missed out despite having 36 caps to his name


Trump Card: Franck Ribery – the man who emerged to help turn around France’s fortunes last time is back for more in South Africa

Wild Card: Yoann Gourcuff – another highly-rated playmaker to watch out for, said by some to be the heir to Zidane

Notable Absentee: Patrick Viera – no recall and no 4th World Cup for the veteran, who played an important role in Germany


Trump Card: Lionel Messi – some say he killed a leopard with his bare feet, and that he once played a ball so accurate that it broke the space-time continuum

Wild Card: Diego Milito – despite all those goals for Inter this year, he’s never quite cut it at international level…so far

Notable Absentee: Esteban Cambiasso – the balding holding midfielder who finished off one of the greatest World Cup goals ever last time out was a surprise omission…but actually is anything really a surprise with Maradona at the helm?


Trump Card: Mikel John Obi – nobody knows in what order to put his name but they all know he’s a very good player

Wild Card: Obafemi Martins – the leader of a star-studded Nigerian attack, but will he and his colleagues find the net against some tough Group B defences

Notable Absentee: Ikechukwu Uche – brother Kalu is in, but the Zaragoza striker is out having only recently recovered from a serious knee injury that kept him out for most of the season

South Korea

Trump Card: Park Ji-Sung – the Manchester United midfielder, a goalscorer in 2006, is now at his peak at 29

Wild Card: Lee Chung-Yong – the talented Bolton winger is one of the next generation of South Korean players

Notable Absentee: Seol Ki-Hyeon – one of the heroes of 2002 is out through injury


Trump Card: Theofanis Gekas – the top scorer in UEFA qualifiers and an interesting addition to a team still based around a core of Euro 2004 winners

Wild Card: Georgios Samaras – the Celtic striker has been somewhat of an enigma at international level thus far, with just 5 goals in over 30 appearances

Notable Absentee: Ioannis Amanatidis – Otto Rehhagel has decided he does not need the experience of the Eintracht Frankfurt striker


Trump Card: Wayne Rooney – for England to go as far as they hope, they need their biggest star to be fit and on top form

Wild Card: Peter Crouch – Rooney’s likely strike partner has a formidable international goalscoring record, but most of his goals have come against minnows; will his awkward presence really threaten the best defenders in the world?

Notable Absentee: David Beckham – ignore the omissions this week, the real big name not to be going…is actually going after all as one of the coaching staff, but you get the picture


Trump Card: Landon Donovan – made an impact in 2002, in the Confederations Cup last year, and on his arrival in the Premiership this year

Wild Card: Jozy Altidore – another Haitian-born striker who, like Joe Gaetjens all those years ago, will be looking to lead to disbelieving journalists to misprint scorelines again

Notable Absentee: Charlie Davies – the Sochaux striker has not yet recovered sufficiently from his car crash injuries to earn a recall


Trump Card: Madjid Bougherra – the former Charlton centre-back has been a key stabilising force in the Rangers defence in recent years

Wild Card: Karim Ziani – one of the few flair players in the Algerian side, the French-born winger had a poor season for Wolfsburg this year

Notable Absentee: Hameur Bouazza – a key figure in Blackpool’s promotion season but surprisingly left out of the final Algerian squad


Trump Card: Milivoje Novakovic – the Cologne striker was key to Slovenia’s surprise qualification with 5 goals

Wild Card: The whole team – to be honest, I don’t know enough about these guys to single anyone out, but beating Russia in the play-offs surely marks them all out as a potential dark horse for the group

Notable Absentee: None


Trump Card: Bastian Schweinsteiger – with Ballack out, the sizeable weight of German expectation has been thrust onto the shoulders of Bayern’s blonde attacker

Wild Card: The German strikeforce as a whole – most of the strikers selected have either been out of form or out of favour at their clubs, including the great goalpoacher Miroslav Klose

Notable Absentee: Michael Ballack – the Chelsea midfielder and German captain heads a long injury list


Trump Card: Tim Cahill – the Everton star and scorer of Australia’s first 2 World Cup goals is at the heart of the midfield for club and country

Wild Card: Joshua Kennedy – one of those awkward strikers in the Crouch mould who could be hit or miss on the biggest stage

Notable Absentee: Archie Thompson – a severe knee injury ended the Melbourne Victory striker’s chances of selection


Trump Card: Dejan Stankovic – a Serie A star, first with Lazio and now with Inter, will lead his country from the midfield

Wild Card: Vladimir Stojkovic – panned in the Premiership, the Wigan ‘keeper and national number 1 could prove to be hero or villain

Notable Absentee: Ivica Dragutinovic – the experienced Sevilla defender misses out due to injury


Trump Card: Sulley Muntari – a Champions League winner this year with Inter, the former Portsmouth midfielder inherits the mantle of Ghana’s World Cup star man

Wild Card: Dominic Adiyiah – the highly rated AC Milan striker was the star of Ghana’s U-20 World Cup triumph last year

Notable Absentee: Michael Essien – they didn’t miss him at the ACoN but they may miss him with the step-up in quality in South Africa


Written by James Bennett

June 3, 2010 at 12:48

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