Young guns firing for World Cup glory

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by smithfan, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. smithfan

    smithfan Member+

    Aug 14, 2005
    Borussia Dortmund
    Nat'l Team:
    With the world's best teams gathering in Germany next summer,'s experts give you five names to look out for other than the usual Ronaldinho or Zinedine Zidane. If Lionel Messi's inclusion is not a surprise, the list also features a promising Croat and a Ghanaian midfielder.

    Lionel MESSI (Argentina - Barcelona)

    Labelled as Diego Armando Maradona's heir by 'El Pibe de Oro' himself, Messi represents the biggest future prospect in world football.

    At only 18, the young Argentine has already impressed with his electrifying skills and extraordinary vision on his way to a place in Barcelona's starting line-up, in which he forms with Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho the most feared attacking trio on the planet.

    He has even become the Brazilian's protégé and Messi's time in the Catalan capital has allowed him to learn new tricks from the master.

    Messi's ability to change pace coupled with a majestic dribbling quality has already terrorised Spanish defences and the way he tortured Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos at the Bernabeu in early December during Barça's 3-0 triumph tells the whole story.

    Argentina's coach Jose Pekerman could even offer him a place in the starting XI to partner Hernan Crespo up front at next year's World Cup, leaving the likes of Javier Saviola and Carlos Tevez to warm the bench.

    That would be an honour for Messi and a fillip for his team as Argentina bid to snatch the World Cup from under the noses of hot favourites and arch rivals Brazil.

    Lukas PODOLSKI (Germany - FC Koln)

    Since last year's Confederations Cup, Germany have had another player to rely on apart from skipper Michael Ballack.

    Emerging from the second division, Podolski scored three goals in the tournament and impressed as his instinctive style of play and deadly finishing gave Germany's opponents' some nightmarish moments.

    With the character and poise of Rudi Voeller and the marketing potential of David Beckham, Podolski has won over the demanding German supporters and will lead the host nation's front line in June at the tender age of 20.

    His destiny recalls the one of his English counterpart Wayne Rooney, to whom he is often compared.

    Still playing his club football in his home town of Koln, a big summer move is a certainty for the young prodigy with Bayern Munich leading the chase for his signature.

    Sulley Ali MUNTARI (Ghana - Udinese)

    Muntari may be less famous than his two Ghana midfield partners Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah but he is none the less promising.

    After making his first Serie A appearance with Udinese against Milan, he was honoured by monthly magazine Football Italia who wrote the youngster had "the touch of Kaka and the combativeness of Edgar Davids."

    And Muntari is nothing short of that comparison. His defensive work-rate is as remarkable as his pinpoint forward passes, and his presence has helped his country to reach the World Cup finals and his club the Champions League for the first time.

    Chased by all the European big guns, Sir Alex Ferguson may well come to regret having let him slip through his fingers after the player had impressed in a trial. Just like Essien...

    And when the Ghanaian Black Stars land on German soil, it will with an ultra-motivated Muntari eager to prove himself on the world stage. Czechs and Italians, beware!

    Niko KRANJCAR (Croatia - Hadjuk Split)

    Following Robert Prosinecki, Aliocha Asanovic and Zvonimir Boban's retirement, Croatia were waiting for a creative player able to establish himself as their playmaker.

    As Otto Baric stepped down as national coach in the summer of 2004, Kranjcar's father Zlatko took over and did not hesitate to give his son the key to Croatia's attack. Niko soon proved himself indispensable as his goals and accurate passes helped his country reach the World Cup finals.

    Already compared to Frank Lampard, both for his ability as well as his footballing relationship with his father, Kranjcar holds all the ingredients of a future world great. His touch is exquisite and his exceptional skills and vision enable him to be either at the start or the end of almost all Croatia's attacks.

    At only 21, the World Cup in Germany will be the ideal platform for him to realise his potential before joining one of the big clubs hunting him.

    Emmanuel ADEBAYOR (Togo - Monaco)

    With eleven goals in Togo's qualifying campaign and the title of top scorer, Adebayor lead his country to an historic qualification for the World Cup.

    Standing at an impressive 1.90m, the striker, unlike England's Peter Crouch, has been blessed with lightning pace.

    Currently playing at Monaco, the giant developed his enormous potential with the likes of Fernando Morientes, Shabani Nonda and Ludovic Giuly as mentors.

    Since their departure, Adebayor has lead his team's strike force to success, as his excellent ball-shielding and highly developed sense of teamwork blossomed under Didier Deschamps' orders.

    Unfortunately, the forward sometimes wastes golden opportunities as his finishing has not quite reached the ruthlessness of Romario's for example. But at only 21 years of age, Adebayor still has plenty of time to improve.

    And when the summer comes, Adebayor will be Togo's main threat as they bid to upset South Korea, Switzerland and France and snatch a place in the knockout stages of the World's biggest football competition.
  2. El viejo Matias

    May 21, 2005
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    forgot about a few but I can and will only tell you of the next Redondo ... Mascherano, who is recovering rapidly and should be a feature in Argentines midfeild in 2006. He is a smart defensive midfeilder who Argentina really need in order to play a comfortable game and not look exposed.

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