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Here are some players to watch in the World Cup‘s Group F.

Andrea Pirlo (Italy)

Pirlo currently plays for Serie A club Milan in his native Italy. He is a seasoned veteran and was part of Italy’s victorious campaign in the 2006 World Cup. In that World Cup, Pirlo was named Man of the Match three times and was voted third-best player of the tournament. He is a free kick and corner kick specialist and is keen on defending Italy’s World Cup crown.

Salvador Cabanas (Paraguay)

If Cabanas competes in this year’s World Cup it will be nothing short of a miracle. Salvador is a natural goal scorer and one of the stars of the Paraguay national team. He is a strong intuitive player who works equally well on either side of his body. The biggest problem he faces currently is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head in January of this year. Doctor’s attempted to remove the bullet but thought it too risky so the bullet was not extracted. So far his recovery has been tremendous and he is aiming to play in this year’s tournament.

Ryan Nelsen (New Zealand)

Nelsen currently is captain for Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, where he plays as a center back. Nelsen is a bit older than many of the players and has been playing for the New Zealand squad off and on since 1999. Many of those years he was plagued with a hamstring injury but is now fully recovered and hopes to lead his team to success in South Africa.

Marek Hamsik (Slovakia)

Hamsik is an attacking midfielder for the Slovak national team and has been a member of the squad since 2007. He is a powerful force and plays his club soccer in Italy. He is part of a talented side that works well together and Slovakia is hoping for success in this year’s tournament.


Here are the players we’re most excited to see in Group E of this year’s World Cup.

Eljero Elia (Netherlands)

Eljero Elia currently plays for German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV. Eljero played his first match with the Dutch senior team in September of 2009 and had two assists in that game against Japan. He is a bright young player and ought to have a great tournament.

Shinji Okazaki (Japan)

Okazaki is a bright star in the Japanese lineup. In October of 2009, he scored two hat tricks just 14 days apart against Hong Kong and Togo. In Japan’s 2009 International campaign, Shinji scored 15 goals and in January of 2010 was named The World’s Top Goal Scorer for ’09 by the IFFHS. Let’s see if he can continue that production into the 2010 season and the World Cup.

Jakob Poulsen (Denmark)

Poulsen is a strong midfielder who currently plays for Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF ), one of the most successful and one of the oldest sport clubs in Denmark. He was called up last year to the national team and helped Denmark qualify for this year’s tournament. He will be a force any time Denmark takes the field in 2010 World Cup.

Stephane M’bia (Cameroon)

Stéphane began his playing career at the famous Kadji Sports Academy and in 2004 moved to France. He currently plays for Olympique Marseille. M’bai has played for the Cameroon national team since 2005 and was part of the squad for the 2008 Olympics. If Cameroon is to enjoy any success in this World Cup, Stephane must play well.

Here are some players to watch out for in Group D of the World Cup.

Lukas Podolski (Germany)

Podolski currently plays as a striker for Köln. He scored the opening two goals in Germany’s first World Cup 2010 qualifying game en route to a 6-0 victory against Liechtenstein. He scored another goal in the victory against Russia and has an almost unmatched scoring record in international play. Podolski often times partners with Miroslav Klose to great effect and the pair looks to make their mark in this year’s tournament.

Tim Cahill (Australia)

Tim Cahill is an attacking midfielder for Everton. He has also played as a striker on several occasions. Cahill joined the Australian national team in 2004 and participated that year as part of the Olympic team. In the 2006 tournament, Cahill came off the bench and scored two goals and assisted the third in their 3-1 victory over Japan. That year, Australia made it out of the group round only to lose to the eventual champions Italy.

Zoran Tošić (Serbia)

Tošić is currently a teammate of Lukas Podolski at Köln (on loan from Manchester United). In August of 2007, Tošić joined the Serbian national team for the Euro 2008 competition. Tošić scored his first international goal in August 2009 against South Africa. Tošić is ready to take his place on the world stage and we expect him to perform well in the 2010 World Cup.

Michael Essien (Ghana)

Michael Essien currently plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. He is an all-round midfielder who can play multiple midfield roles. He is a versatile player with lots of energy. Essien played in the ’06 tournament and helped Ghana become the only African team to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup. In September of 2008, Essien was injured and had to sit out for six months but is back to full health and should be a force in this year’s tournament.

Continuing our coverage of the 2010 World Cup competition, here are some players to watch out for in Group C.

Wayne Rooney (England)

Rooney plays for Manchester United in the English Premier League and is now England’s most established player worldwide. He is the one player that England cannot afford to be without”if they are to have a realistic chance of winning the World Cup this summer. Rooney has been at the peak of his powers in the Premiership this season and will expected to perform for England with the world watching.

Ziani Karim (Algeria)

Karim is a teammate of Obafemi Martins at VfL Wolfsburg in the German Bundesliga league. He possesses the talent to play many positions but is known for being a skilled midfielder. His debut for the Algerian national team came in 2003. Ziani scored six goals in Algeria’s bid to qualify for this year’s cup and was a large part of their success. Look for Ziani to be one of the leaders of this squad.

Robert Koren (Slovenia)

Koren is captain of the Slovenian national team and currently plays for the English club, West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League. Koren has 44 caps for Slovenia and has scored nine goals. Koren and his teammates will have to be at their best to advance from group play.

Jozy Altidore (USA)

Jozy is currently playing for Hull City of the English Premier League. Jozy was born in New Jersey and raised in Boca Raton, Florida and is of Haitian descent. He joined the US team in November of ’07 and was part of the US Olympic team in ’08. He scored 5 goals in World Cup qualification and is the youngest American to score a hat trick in an international game. Watch for this hard-nosed competitor to shine in South Africa.

Here are some players to watch out for in Group B of this year’s World Cup competition.

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi currently plays for Barelona in La Liga. He is considered as one of the best players of his generation and frequently referred to as the world’s best contemporary player. In 2005, Messi made his debut for the Argentine national team as an 18 year old. In the 2006 World Cup, he had an assist and a goal against Serbia making him the youngest goal scorer of the tournament. He is in his prime and should have a great tournament this time around.

Obafemi Martins (Nigeria)

Obafemi Martins is from a football family and currently plays for the reigning Bundesliga league champion VfL Wolfsburg. In International play, he has scored 16 goals in 21 appearances for Nigeria. Off field issues should not prohibit him from being a force for the team in this year’s tournament. This veteran can and will contribute.

Sotiris Ninis (Greece)

Sotiris was born in Albania but is of Greek descent. At 20 years of age, he is poised and ready to make his mark on the world stage. During his international senior debut, he scored in the fifth minute against Cyprus and became the youngest scorer in Greek football history. He’s young and hungry so watch out for his impact.

Lee Chung-Yong (South Korea)

Lee Chung-Yong plays in the English Premier League and is known as “The Blue Dragon”. He is widely regarded as one of the top young players in South Korea. This is his first World Cup and he was an important part of South Korea’s seventh consecutive World Cup qualification and we bet he will continue to be an important contributor during the tournament.

Continuing our coverage of the 2010 World Cup, here are some interesting players to watch in Group A:

Katlego Mphela (South Africa)

Katlego currently plays for the Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League in South Africa. He came on in the late stages in their match against Spain in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place playoff game and scored two goals in the last 17 minutes of the game to for extra time. Katlego is an up and coming player for the South African squad and we look for him to have a great tournament.

Carlos Vela (Mexico)

Carlos Vela is a 21 year old who plays for Arsenal in the English Premier League. His impact was felt in the qualifying by assisting on two goals and scoring one in Mexico’s 4-0 win against the US. He scored another and assisted another in their 4-1 win over El Salvador sending Mexico into the World Cup. This is a player just reaching his prime and should be fun to watch in the Tournament.

Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

Diego Forlan currently plays for Atlético Madrid of La Liga. He is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe. Forlan joined the Uruguayan National Team in 2002 and scored a goal in the 2002 World Cup against Senegal. In June of 2008 Diego scored a hat trick in a World Cup qualifying game against Peru. Look for good things from this veteran player.

Hugo Lloris (France)

Hugo currently plays as a goalkeeper for Olympique Lyonnais in Ligue 1. He is the reigning Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year. Lloris may lack breadth in international competition but is regarded as one of the top keepers anywhere. We don’t foresee many goals being scored against France while Hugo is in the net.

Spain Football Team LogoSpain comes into this year’s world cup competition ranked number 1 in the FIFA rankings. They are paired with Switzerland, Honduras, and Chile in Group H. Spain is a World Cup regular but has a history of underachieving on the International stage. Their game is solid in every respect but they get frustrated easily with the strongest teams. Chile will provide the stiffest competition for the Spanish with their attacking talent but will need to find a way to combat Spain’s powerful front line.

The Swiss have a long tradition in International Football but may lack the motivation to succeed in this year’s contest. The Hondurans played well in the qualifying finishing just behind the US and Mexico. Now, they have their sights set higher but will need to produce a unbelievable performance to advance into the next round.

We expect the Spain and Chile to advance into the next round.

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