2014 World Cup: 9 of the most dangerous players of the game
Here are nine of the players that the world will be watching almost obsessively at the World Cup 2014.
They are scorers and attackers. One even has a reputation for being literally dangerous — Luis Suarez of Uruguay has been in trouble more than once for biting his opponents.
The group includes talents like Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar of Brasil. But there are also lesser known — but equally potent — players in the group like Asamoah Gyan of Ghana and Edin Dzeko of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Asamoah Gyan – Ghana
Ghana is in the so-called “Group of Death” along with Germany, Portugal and the USA. But the Black Stars have two-time World Cup veteran Asamoah Gyan, pictured here in London in 2011, as their captain. He has vowed to Ghanian media that the team will qualify from the group. “Ghanaians should relax,” he told a local sports radio station. “We’ll qualify from the group and make Ghana proud again.”
Edin Dzeko – Bosnia and Herzegovina
This is the first time that Bosnia and Herzegovina will appear in the World Cup. SB Nation gives the team a good chance at qualifying from Group F, even though it includes Argentina. Their stars include Edin Dzeko, pictured here playing for Manchester City in England on May 7, 2014.
Mesut Ozil – Germany
SB Nation has called Ozil, pictured here in London on May 4, 2014, a “great playmaker” but some say that he has not played well in recent games, showing a lack of confidence. Germany faces off against Portugal in their first Group G game.
Luis Suarez – Uruguay
Luis Suarez, pictured here playing for Liverpool in May 2014, may be as well known for biting his opponents as he is for striking against the goal. Notwithstanding his reputation for aggression, he is considered one of Uruguay’s best attackers.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
The New York Times has called Argentinian forward Lionel Messi “boy genius” as well as “something of a freak.” In a recent profile, the Times dissected the love-hate relationship of his native country with the star player, but there’s no denying that when Messi gets on the field a lot of people will simply be looking for magic.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s most famous soccer players and was voted the world’s best player in 2013. Headlines follow him when he goes shirtless or sees a Ghanaian witch doctor for an injury. As the biggest star of Portugal’s team, all eyes will be on him from the get-go as they face off against Germany in their first game of Group G.
Robin van Persie – Holland
A lot of praise has been heaped on Holland’s offense, due in no small order to striker Robin van Persie, pictured here in London on May 5, 2012.
Neymar – Brazil
Prince. Madonna. When people start calling you by one name, you know you’ve reached a certain level of success. Neymar is Brazil’s one-name star (okay, he sometimes goes by Neymar Junior, but still) whom even teammates say will be key to the host team’s winning the Cup.
Wayne Rooney – England
Wayne Rooney is the highest-paid player in England for a reason. But some critics think the striker has failed to perform like one of the greats during the World Cup.