We reckon these players from our favourite countries will be the ones to watch out for even after the world cup has ended. Learn their names and know their moves now to up your street-cred folks!
1. Yaya Toure- The Unstoppable Force from Ivory Coast.
Also known as the human train or the BMW, Yaya Toure was crowned 3 times African Footballer of the year. The 6 foot 3 inch tall giant rose quickly to the top in just a few years, transforming from an ultra defensive midfielder, to one of the best box to box midfielders with bursting speed and power. His lung-bursting runs have captivated the English media for years, and he has now become that unstoppable force you tend to hear about in your hollywood action movies. On 2nd March 2014, the Ivorian powerhouse scored his best goal of his career during the League Cup Final. Yaya Toure’s stunning strike sparked his previously lethargic team to life and inspired Manchester City’s 3-1 League Cup final victory over Sunderland.
2. Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior a.k.a. Neymar- Brazil’s New Hope
Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has admitted that Neymar is as important to Brazil as Messi is to Argentina after his two goals against Cameroon this World Cup. This player clinched the South American Footballer of the Year twice in 2011 and 2012, and the FIFA Puskas Award in for the most aesthetically significant or the “most beautiful” goal of the year. Known for his acceleration, speed, dribbling, and ability with both feet, he has been compared to another famous player Pele. Do not just take it from us. Even Pele has said that he is an excellent player and Ronaldinho is placing his bets on Neymar saying that he will be the “best player in the world in two or three seasons”.
3. Lionel Messi- Faster than the Argentinan Wind.
Ranking #6 out of the 50 sexiest Soccer Players at the 2014 World Cup, Argentina’s Lionel Messi is not just famous for his boyish handsome looks. The incredibly handsome attacker, who was one of the youngest player to score for Barcelona, is arguably one of the top soccer players in the world. In this beautiful game that is built on speed and agility, Messi is definitely a defender’s worst nightmare. Also known as the flea, Messi can run even faster with the ball than he can without it. His dribbling and close control brings to mind great players like Diego Maradona and his explosive change of direction simply makes professional defenders look like fools.
4. Arturo Vidal- The Complete Player
This midfielder is able to play many different roles. His aggression in tackling the ball, his vision in passing to his team mates and ability to score goals make him an all-rounder. Vidal is an attacking midfielder with breathtaking runs, delicate feet, vision as a director and an artist of the tackles. One who if necessary can also play the role of the central defender. With such a complete player, you just have to have him on your team.
5. Alexander Kokorin- The Cute Russian Player
Now this soccer player’s face reminds us of Justin Bieber. The rising star played a huge role in qualifying Russia who had missed the past 2 seasons into the Fifa World Cup 2014 with 4 goals in the qualifying match. Named Russia’s Young Player of the Year in 2011, he used to play as a secondary striker and unleashed his potential as a lone forward.
6. Luis Suarez- The Urugayan Striker that Bites
Luis Suarez, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player 2014 with a track record of 59 goals in his 103-games. Suarez has an ability to score any type of goals, getting past defenders with his box of tricks and scoring goals with his right, left or even his head. His technical abilities has set him way ahead of many strikers and with a strong drive,he is ever ready to play the lone role or an attacking duo. Being the best in-form striker with a real-fire within, be sure to anticipate his distinctive dribbling style, passing through the lines within pockets of space, agile turns and scoring right into the net! But be careful, he bites.
7. Sofiane Feghouli- The Young Blood from Algeria
Sofiane Feghouli, the Algerian midfielder may have made his debut at age 17 but he debuted as a World Cup goal-scorer on June 17 2014. Being able to play anywhere in midfield, the centre of midfield is his best possession where he flaunts his short passes naturally. Everything good in the team passes through him and with the ball at his feet, Feghouli is able to contribute defensively with great creativity beyond prediction.
8. Asamoah Gyan- An Amazing Ghanaian Scorer
Asamoah Gyan is the first African to score at three different World Cups and he is the top African goal-scorer with five goals at the World Cup already. With his strength and fast pace, he is adept running into channels and shooting from incredible angles. Gyan scored a record of 13 goals in 2014, especially for the World Cup qualifying matches. The team scored the most goals among all other African qualifiers. Watch Gyan as he return with immense mental power and determination after missing the penalty in the last world cup!
9. James Rodriguez- The Next Big Thing from Colombia
Meet James . His first name is actually pronounced as “Ha-mez”. In this beautiful game, we always hear about the next big thing- uprising players who stand out uniquely from the rest, the ones who are potentially capable of doing something stunning. Rodriguez is one such player. Signed by FC Porto in 2010, the pacy left footer (though he is adept on his right as well) proved himself to be capable of playing as a winger, centre forward, striker and attacking midfielder. Rodriguez was recently bought by French club AS Monaco for 45 million euros and is one of the most expensive young players in French history.
10. Ashkan Dejagah- The Fire from Iran
This 27-year-old is actually German-Iranian and has two tattoos on his arm- one says Tehran, the other says Berlin (It is illegal in Iran to get tatoos by the way). He plays defense well and is a key member of his team. His strength is in short passes, dribbles, and tackles, and he reads the games well and it shows in his defending skills. This midfielder represented Germany at youth level before declaring to play for Iran. He is relishing his first experience of the World Cup and has no desire to leave yet. In a dull Iranian team, expect him to provide the spark in the final third.
That’s it for now! What Top 10 list would you like to see in future? Comment below to give us your suggestions and GoBeyond.SG will do our best to make it happen!