Every four years, when World Cup finals fever grips the world, the expectant viewer awaits with great anticipation, seeing some of the biggest names in World Football grace the biggest stage, in front of record viewing figures.
For many, the chance to see the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Kaka, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres and the incomparable Lionel Messi in action will be worth the wait. However, it cannot be a great World Cup for all the truly outstanding players on show. Luck, injury a lack of form or defeat will no doubt rob many of these greats of the chance to showcase their true talents over the month long feast of football.
However that will present an opportunity for some players, perhaps the lesser lights of World football, to grasp their opportunity on the world’s biggest stage and in this article, we take a look at a few players who may not yet be household names now, may well be on everyone’s lips at the end of the tournament.
Neven Subotic (Borossia Dortmund & Serbia): Manchester United and Chelsea are already believed to be hot on the tail of this talented Serbian international defender. Dortmund have so far refused all offers and rate Subotic as arguably the best defender in Europe on his day. It is an extravagant claim, but not one without foundation. If the Serb can find his best form alongside Vidic in defence then he may well emerge as truly one of the world’s very best.
Angel Di Maria (Benfica & Argentina): When teams face Argentina their primary focus will have to be Lionel Messi. The diminutive genius will draw opponents to him like wasps to a jam jar and that will leave plenty of space for other players. Di Maria is one such player who will benefit from this. Playing on the opposite flank and possessing a truly fantastic left foot, Di Maria could prove his worth, said to be around £35m currently, during these finals.
Jesus Navas (Sevilla & Spain): Chronic fear of flying meant that Navas ‘retired’ from international football as a youngster, but he has returned to the fold and boosted Spain’s chances a great deal. His style of bustling wing play, accurate crossing and an uncanny ability to get a crucial goal or two mean he could well emerge as one of Spain’s new talents in the finals this summer.
Alexis Sanchez (Udinese & Chile): One of the increasing number of talented Chilean soccer stars, Sanchez is a class act above his team mates. Clever on the ball and possessing a tactically astute football brain, Sanchez invention and goal threat will be a key element of Chilean play, if the South Americans are to reach the second phase.
Gervinho : (Lille & Ivory Coast): Ivory Coast’s main attacking threat will be the pace of Aruna Dindane and the power of Didier Drogba and that may mean Lille’s talented young striker Gervinho can profit. A talented striker who has a decent goalscoring rate, he is a solid all round performer and could well have a key role to play for the Ivory Coast at the World Cup finals.
So just remember, you heard them here on PR first!