The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

2010 World Cup Squads Overview – Part 2

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Netherlands

Trump Card: Wesley Sneijder – as shown in the Champions League Final, he is the talented Dutch attacker whose ankles aren’t made of glass on the big occasion

Wild Card: Robin van Persie – it is almost as if he has been forgotten after his injury troubles, but he is still potentially a Golden Boot contender

Notable Absentee: Ruud van Nistelrooy – despite moving to the Bundesliga to try and persuade Bert van Marwijk to pick him, the experienced goal poacher is missing

Denmark

Trump Card: Christian Poulsen – the Juventus midfielder is now at his prime at just the right moment for the Danes

Wild Card: Christian Eriksen – the 18 year old Ajax midfielder is tipped as a star of the future, but what can he do now?

Notable Absentee: Morten Rasmussen – the Celtic striker is left out in favour of the likes of Bendtner and Tomasson

Japan

Trump Card: Shunsuke Nakamura – the former Celtic playmaker is now Japan’s biggest name and will spearhead their attack

Wild Card: Keisuke Honda – the CSKA Moscow attacker has been chased by several big clubs in recent months

Notable Absentee: Hidetoshi Nakata – not an omission as he retired after the last World Cup, but the loss of previous-generation players such as Nakata will hinder Japan’s progress

Cameroon

Trump Card: Samuel Eto’o – one of Africa’s greatest ever players, the Inter striker will lead out his country in his 3rd World Cup

Wild Card: Alexandre Song – the young Arsenal midfielder is one of a new generation of Indomitable Lions that is key to their success

Notable Absentee: None

Italy

Trump Card: Gianluigi Buffon – the legendary Juventus keeper was vital to the Azzuri’s success 4 years ago

Wild Card: None – Italy are a known quantity, so there’s no one who would necessarily come from nowhere and surprise really

Notable Absentee: Luca Toni – one of Italy’s leading strikers 4 years ago joins the likes of Fabio Grosso and Giuseppe Rossi on the sidelines this time

Paraguay

Trump Card: Roque Santa Cruz – the Manchester City striker is part of a deceptively dangerous Paraguayan attack

Wild Card: Lucas Barrios – scored 19 goals for Borussia Dortmund last year, but has only just begun to play for Paraguay after obtaining citizenship this year

Notable Absentee: Salvador Cabanas – an important part of their attack but continuing to recover after being shot earlier this year

New Zealand

Trump Card: Ryan Nelsen – it is fair to say that the Blackburn defender is probably one of the few New Zealander footballers you know, unless you are follow Antipodean football

Wild Card: Shane Smeltz – the Gold Coast United striker, formerly of AFC Wimbledon, will lead the All White attack

Notable Absentee: None

Slovakia

Trump Card: Marek Hamsik – the midfielder and national team captain plies his trade in Italy with Napoli

Wild Card: The whole team – as a combined effort, they are a potential surprise package in this group

Notable Absentee: Szilard Nemeth – I don’t know why he hasn’t been picked, but he is probably Slovakia’s best-known player in England due to his stint at Middlesbrough

Brazil

Trump Card: Kaka – names don’t get much bigger (or smaller!) in football

Wild Card: Luis Fabiano – the Sevilla striker is less well-known than he should be, but that may change this year

Notable Absentee: Ronaldinho – Dunga has stayed firm and left out the legendary midfielder

North Korea

Trump Card: Hong Yong-Jo – the captain plays his football in Russia with FC Rostov

Wild Card: Jong Tae-Se – nicknamed “the Asian Wayne Rooney”, the Kawasaki Frontale forward could cause the big teams some problems

Notable Absentee: None (although whoever the 3rd choice keeper was to be might feel a bit annoyed)

Ivory Coast

Trump Card: Didier Drogba – if he’s fit…

Wild Card: Gervinho – an addition from last time, the Lille striker will be responsible for the scoring if Drogba doesn’t play

Notable Absentee: Bakary Kone – scored a cracker 4 years ago but there’s no place for the striker this time

Portugal

Trump Card: Cristiano Ronaldo – the world’s most expensive player…need I say more?

Wild Card: Danny – the Venezuelan-born Zenit St Petersburg midfielder could be a surprise package in a team with many well-known stars

Notable Absentee: Nani – the Manchester United winger joined Jose Bosingwa on the Portuguese injury list just days before the start of the tournament

Spain

Trump Card: Xavi – the strikers might be more attractive, but it is the Barcelona midfielder who does all the hard work

Wild Card: Sergio Busquets – another of those Barcelona midfielders to watch, he was impressive in last year’s Champions League Final, and is still only 21

Notable Absentee: Marcos Senna – a key player in Euro 2008, but omitted due to poor form this time round

Switzerland

Trump Card: Alexandre Frei – when the star striker limped off in the opening minutes of Euro 2008, chances of a home success in the tournament pretty much ended, highlighting his importance to the team

Wild Card: Xherdan Shaqiri – the 18 year old Basel winger was a shock inclusion, so it’ll be interesting to see if Ottmar Hitzfeld risks him

Notable Absentee: Marco Streller – the tall striker headed home early due to injury

Honduras

Trump Card: Wilson Palacios – the Spurs midfielder will be key to the Central Americans’ chances of progression

Wild Card: The whole team – again, no stand out names that could surprise, but progression isn’t out of the question

Notable Absentee: Carlo Costly – an important striker in qualification but out due to injury

Chile

Trump Card: Humberto Suazo – the Zaragoza striker is both one of the most experience Chileans in the side and also a dangerous threat

Wild Card: Alexis Sanchez – the highly-rated 21 year old Udinese attacker could be the about to launch himself onto the world stage

Notable Absentee: None

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Written by James Bennett

June 14, 2010 at 11:13

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