Brazil vs. Uruguay: Ranking Most Dangerous Playmakers in Semifinal Clash

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVJune 24, 2013

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Neymar of Brazil celebrates as he scores their second goal from a free kick during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Italy and Brazil at Estadio Octavio Mangabeira (Arena Fonte Nova Salvador) on June 22, 2013 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Both Brazil and Uruguay will boast some of the world's top playmaking talent when they clash in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal on Wednesday, and scintillating goals are sure to be in high supply.

Any time two notable international football powers take the stage, you're sure to see some dangerous playmakers. But Brazil and Uruguay will take that to a whole new level with a slew of top talent appearing on both squad's rosters.

There's no telling if Uruguay can mount the upset to topple the host country in the South American affair, but it's obvious that both sides feature world-class talent.

It's awfully hard to narrow this list down to five players with the immense depth each of these teams have. 


1. Neymar, Brazil

There's really no argument to be made here.

Regarded as one of the world's up-and-coming superstars heading into the summer, Neymar has quickly proven that there's nothing "up-and-coming" about his game. It's already there.

After signing on with Barcelona earlier this month, the Confederations Cup seemed to be the 21-year-old's first big chance to make a splash with the whole world watching. He did just that, scoring a goal in each of Brazil's three group-stage matches.

We always knew Neymar boasted world-class speed and elusiveness, but his ability to make his presence felt on free kicks and from long range is what has taken the Brazilian star's game to a whole new level.


2. Luis Suarez, Uruguay

Making the claim for Neymar as the obvious No. 1 in this ranking is justified, but also a disservice to Luis Suarez.

The 26-year-old Liverpool striker was arguably the most prolific playmaker in the Premier League last season, which says just about all you have to say for Suarez's ability. His game is incredibly well-rounded, and typically serves as a handful for defenders to deal with.

Despite Spain bottling up Uruguay in their tournament opener, Suarez wasn't denied making his impact on the score line with a beautiful free kick in garbage time of his team's 2-1 loss.


3. Edinson Cavani, Uruguay

Cavani has staked his claim as a world-class striker over the past few years in Serie A, where an incredible 78 goals in 104 appearances with Napoli has caused his name to pop up in transfer news with a massive, £53 million stamped next to his name, per the Daily Mirror.

His finishing ability and strength to fend off defenders has made Cavani a household name. And if his Uruguay side has any chance of slipping past Brazil's stout back line featuring David Luiz, it'll be by way of Cavani.

Putting him this high on the rankings is tricky considering the amount of quality Brazil possess, but it's no fluke. Cavani is the real deal, and he'll prove it if he ever gets to the right Premier League club.


4. Hulk, Brazil

The 26-year-old's talent has hardly been convincing as a member of Brazil's national team, but there's no doubting Hulk's immense ability and game-changing prowess.

He hasn't always been in favor for the starting spot on the right attacking side, sometimes overlooked in place of Lucas Moura. Plus, his move to Zenit St. Petersburg in 2012 didn't do much to put him in the international spotlight as compared to a EPL move.

But Hulk turned into a star performer as a member of F.C. Porto, and if he can ever get back in his coaches' favor, he'll prove to do the same with the Brazilians.


5. Diego Forlan, Uruguay

Forlan is way past his prime, but he still possesses the ability to change any match that he participates in with one flick of the foot.

The 34-year-old is one of the most lethal free-kick takers we've seen in the past few years. His performance in the 2010 World Cup showed that he can defy age, with his winning of the Golden Ball.

He won't be the quickest or most hard-to-defend player on the pitch by any means, but it's hard to find a more dangerous playmaker than Forlan.


Other Notables: Lucas (Brazil), Oscar (Brazil), Alvaro Pereira (Uruguay), Marcelo (Brazil).