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Sonny.Bill.Williams

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who do you think will be the standout player of this WC? Not necessarily goals but overall performance .

The Top 10 Young Players To Watch Out For At World Cup 2010
With just a few days left until the biggest football tournament on the planet, which youngsters are going to make the breakthrough in South Africa?


Fabio Capello and Dunga could well regret the omissions of Theo Walcott and Neymar respectively following the World Cup if their squads fail to show the necessary sparkle and invention in South Africa.

Young players traditionally make a big impact at the World Cup; Pele in 1958 and Paul Gascoigne in 1990 are just two famous examples. At the end of a long hard season, young legs can make a real difference allied with a mentality of wanting to prove to the world that they have what it takes on the biggest stage of all.

Below are 101greatgoals’ tips for the 10 young players likely to make a name for themselves at the 2010 World Cup. The criteria for inclusion are that the starlet must be 23 or under and not already a world star, hence the exclusion of Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Nani.

There are also some honourable mentions at the bottom of the piece but feel free to add your tips in the comments. Simply click on the name for video evidence.

Mesut Oezil (Germany, 21) It is no exaggeration to say that the Werder Bremen playmaker has the ability to be as good as the very best, including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Oezil has it all and was a major factor behind Germany’s Under-21 European Championship win last summer. Having contributed an incredible 19 assists in the Bundesliga last season, Oezil is the key attacking player in Jogi Loew’s team and he is unlikely to disappoint.

Pedro (Spain, 22) After scoring 20 goals for Barcelona last season and establishing a new record of netting in six different competitions, Pedro could be a key player off the bench for Spain in South Africa. Unlikely to start for Vicente Del Bosque’s side, Pedro has the natural flair and goalscoring ability to make an impact against tired opponents. Established himself in Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side and has the momentum needed to be a key man for the European champions.

Aaron Lennon (England, 23) The Spurs flyer missed almost the whole of the second half of the season, which should leave him fresh for the World Cup. Theo Walcott’s omission means Lennon is now certain to start England’s group games and if he showcases his blistering pace, he should set up plenty of goals for Rooney, Crouch and company. Has often been criticised for failing to score goals and his wayward crossing, but this was evidently improved in the first half of 2009-10.

Alexis Sanchez (Chile, 21) Nicknamed “Wonderboy” as well as the “Chilean Lionel Messi”, Sanchez is the creative fulcrum in a Chile side that could well surprise in South Africa. He has impressed for Udinese over the past two seasons after moving from River Plate and averages close to a goal every other game for the national team.

Pablo Barrera (Mexico, 22) The Pumas UNAM Mexico winger can play on either flank and is exceptionally quick. Unlikely to be an automatic starter in Javier Aguirre’s first team, Barrera is set to be an impact substitute and has impressed in the recent warm-up games.

Nicolas Lodeiro (Uruguay, 20) The Uruguay front line of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez have been tipped to bang in the goals, but it is Lodeiro who will provide the ammunition for the celebrated front pair. Has had a slow start to life in European football with Ajax since a January move, but was a sensation in his home country and was predictably nicknamed “The Uruguayan Messi".

Sergio Romero (Argentina, 23) Diego Maradona’s undisputed number one going into the World Cup will be looking to show the form that saw him play a key part in AZ Alkmaar’s Eredivisie title win in 2008-09. Crucially the 6ft 3in custodian is adept at saving penalties, which could lift him to hero status in the latter stages of the tournament.

Keisuke Honda (Japan, 23) In true Japanese tradition, their bright young hope is a cultured midfield schemer. Honda rose to prominence in Holland with VVV Venlo and then impressed for CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. Has an excellent shot from distance and is also a fine set-piece taker.

Marek Hamsik (Slovakia, 22) Probably Slovakia’s most important player, Hamsik has been incredible for Napoli in recent seasons and will likely get on the scoresheet in South Africa. He chipped in with 12 Serie A goals last season and 10 the year before, and coming from deep he can cause havoc.

Gervinho (Ivory Coast, 23) The “Brazilian Elephant” was one of the best strikers in France last season, impressing for Lille alongside another starlet in Eden Hazard who won’t be in South Africa. Gervinho has all the qualities to frighten even top quality defences like Brazil and Portugal, but like many of the players on this list, he could be used as an impact player if Didier Drogba or Aruna Dindane fail to score.
 

AC_Wesley

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Japans Honda. He will be solid, too bad of their early elimination in the group phase. Not that he needs the ''breakthrough''. He already is.
 

Sheva0172

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Wtf, Lodeiro is nominated and Elia isn't?
My choice is Elia / Affelay.
 

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young players,, hmm pastore if he gets playing time might surprise
 

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I'm going with Özil, Germany always does well and Özil's their 10.
 

Sonny.Bill.Williams

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Five Players To Watch Today

Keep an eye out for these ones...

Alexis SANCHEZ

Chile
Quick, direct and full of tricks, Alexis Sanchez is one of the focal points of the Chilean attack. One of the many South Americans imported by Italian side Udinese, Sanchez has made the grade at the Friuli.

XAVI

Spain
Despite playing in a slightly more advanced position than at club level, Xavi is a master of ball retention and penetrative play. His touch and poise make him a constant threat in the middle of the field.

Gokhan INLER

Switzerland
The tough and uncompromising Inler is a key figure the Swiss midfield. His robust and assured performances have won him suitors at Udinese, and his tenacious style will be critical against the Spanish, who are likely to outnumber Switzerland in midfield.

Teko MODISE

South Africa
Composed and skillful, Modise is principal to South Africa's attacking play. South African Footballer of the Year in 2008 and 2009, the clever midfielder offers creation and goal threat courtesy of his excellent technical attributes.

Luis SUAREZ

Uruguay
Given his quite remarkable scoring record at club for Ajax, Suarez is a difficult player to ignore. Averaging about three goals every four games, the precocious forward plays from the left for his club, but will start alongside Diego Forlan in Uruguay's attack.
 

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Demel, Onyewuo, Lugano and Yaya Touré. Only badasses.

Nigerian GK is great too. Fucking ninja.
 

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Day 7 - Players To Watch


Lionel MESSI

Argentina At his best he's utterly unstoppable - although Vincent Enyeama did a pretty good job of it on Saturday. The precocious Messi is just about as good as anything on the planet. His penetrative runs and ability to attract defenders make him a lethal weapon.

KIM Jung-woo

South Korea
South Korea's neat, prudent football is no better personified than by Kim Jung-woo. His balanced game provides the Red Devils with stability and quality at their heart. Has resisted the lures of Europe to stay playing his football in Asia.

Chinedu OBASI

Nigeria
While his performance against Argentina was somewhat ineffectual, supporters of Hoffenheim will champion the qualities of Nigeria's explosive wideman. Quick and direct, Obasi offers raw quality as part of a front three. Has the ability to skip past defenders and unleash powerful shots.

Franck RIBERY

France
Despite his poor domestic form, Ribery remains one of the world's finest attacking players. His pace and craft in the final third has the capacity to beguile defenders, and his propensity to come off the flank and onto his right side make him a consistent threat.

Giovani DOS SANTOS

Mexico
Dos Santos's anonymity at club level has kept the young midfielder out of the spotlight in recent years. Despite this though, Javier Aguirre has recognised his polished technique and effervescent running by selecting him for El Tri. The opening game saw him deployed on the right side of the attack to great effect.

flop of the day nominees:

Heinze

Etuhu

Samaras

Mexico's GK


Govou


Best player: Lionel Messi

Flop: Sani Kaita....turd
 
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Sonny.Bill.Williams

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Day 8 - Players To Watch


Keep an eye out for these ones...

Mesut OEZIL
Germany

One of the great hopes of the Germany side, Mesut Oezil is an outstandingly gifted playmaker, and at the age of only 21 there seems to be a good deal more to come from him. Already a potent offensive weapon, Serbia will do well to pin him down.

Milan JOVANOVIC
Serbia

A prolific scorer for Standard Liege, Jovanovic showed glimpses of his talent in the opening game against Ghana but ultimately proved too erratic on the day to help his side break through. The 29-year-old will want to be more penetrative on the left against Germany.

Oguchi ONYEWU
United States

Has had his first season with Milan utterly destroyed by injury, but that doesn’t seem to have had a great impact on his match sharpness. Was a rock in the centre of the USA defence against England and is going for a repeat performance.

Glen JOHNSON
England Maicon

Attacking full-backs have well and truly made the difference in this World Cup. Now it's time for Liverpool man Glen Johnson to do the same for England, with the flanks waiting for his input.

Madjid BOUGHERRA
Algeria

A confident defender, Bougherra presently turns out for Scottish champions Rangers. The Premier League is just a stone’s throw away, and the centre-back knows a good performance against England will raise his reputation. Look out for his charging runs from the back line but also his physical nature.


Flop of the Day nominee's:

Zigic

Heskey

Faouzi Chaouchi

Zlatko Dedič
 
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Sonny.Bill.Williams

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Flop: who else ,but Koman Coulibaly
1099_koman_coulibaly.png

possibly checking for a brain???

Star: Milan Jovanovic
1037582400.jpg


-Scorer of the vital goal to give the Serbs a historic win over Germany
 

Sonny.Bill.Williams

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Eljero ELIA

Netherlands

It takes some doing to be among the men of the match when playing only around half an hour, but that's exactly what Elia did against Denmark. The Hamburg winger was top dog and, according to Goal.com's Stefan Coerts in the Netherlands, should absolutely start against Japan.

Keisuke HONDA

Japan

For the second match in a row all eyes will be on CSKA Moscow's dynamic attacking midfielder, Keisuke Honda. He was our player to watch prior to Japan's meeting with Cameroon and duly picked up both our editors' and fans' Turkish Airlines Top of the Match award. Same again, Keisuke?

Kwadwo ASAMOAH
Ghana

Young gun Kwadwo Asamoah is one of the most youthful of what is already a fresh-faced Ghanaian squad. Having been instrumental in the win over Serbia, he didn't last the full ninety - perhaps due to wishing to save his strength for the next match with Australia.

Christian ERIKSEN


Denmark

Ajax youngster Eriksen may be just 18 years of age, but he's already on his fourth cap and, of course, set for his second World Cup appearance. The Dane enjoyed mere minutes against the Dutch but may be utilised as an attacking spark this time.

Achille EMANA

Cameroon

The Real Betis hitman will be watching carefully to see if his side regain promotion to the Primera, but for now he has a job to do. Criticised by some for his greed on the ball, it's clear that he'll be a goalscoring threat for the Indomitable Lions.


Flop of the Day Nominee's:

Ryan Nielsen

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Niklas Bendtner
 
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