10 Players That Could Make an Impact At the World Cup
Here we take a look at 10 players who may catch the imagination of the footballing world. These players have all the skills that are required to make an impact, so find out who I think will make a difference in South Africa.
These are not the 'A List' footballers but the ones who if they have a good tournament will be very soon,
Please let me know what you think of the piece and leave your own suggestions.
10. Teko Modise - South Africa
A classy midfielder with an eye for a pass, Modeste along with Steven Pienaar is the heartbeat of the South African team.
With over 40 caps he is one of the more experienced campaigners in the Bafana Bafana set-up.
What is surprising about Teko is that he is still playing in South Africa with the Orlando Pirates. Although his talents have attracted interest in the past from teams in both England and Italy.
With the home support behind them expect South Africa to cause a few upsets in 2010, and if they do more than likely Teko Modeste would have been at the centre of things for them.
A successful World Cup may also finally get him the deal abroad that his talents deserve.
9. Lee Chung Yong - South Korea
A speedy right winger, Lee has been very impressive in his debut season with Bolton Wanderers.
Something of a prodigy in Korea, Lee has all the traits of a very good player. He is hard working, quick, very skillful and wears his heart on his sleeve.
When watching him play he reminds you of his fellow countryman Park Ji Sung, but he has the talent to be even more of a star than his current national team captain.
He will cause problems for whoever he comes up against in South Africa and could help the Koreans out of the group stage.
At only 21 Lee has a very promising career ahead of him and an impressive World Cup could elevate him to the next level where you have to believe he still would be a force to be reckoned with.
8. Ramires - Brazil
May be a strange choice when you consider the attacking riches that Brazil possess, but Ramires adds a stability when selected and the 'selecao' look a lot better for it.
Often described as a defensive midfielder the 22 year old is much more than that. He is blessed with superb stamina and travels from box to box with ease during the 90 minutes. When playing for Cruzeiro in Brazil he was nicknamed the 'Blue Kenyan' for his endurance qualities.
Signed by Benfica of Portugal in 2009, his arrival has seen a up turn in fortune for the club, with the Lisbon giants once again looking like they could win the SuperLiga.
As well as having superb stamina he is also a clever player and likes to be involved in the build up play.
If selected Ramires will no doubt catch the eye and with him the team Brazil will surely go into the competition as one of the favourites, and rightly so.
7. Thomas Muller - Germany
May be a touch ambitious considering he hasn't made his international debut, but the performances he has been putting in for Bayern Munich this season I just have the feeling he will be on the pine.
At only 20, Muller has plenty of time to break into then starting XI, but I think Joachim Loew will take the exciting youngster and use him as an impact player.
Comfortable in a number of attacking positions Muller has become a favourite of Bayern boss Louis Van Gaal after making his debut at the beginning of this season he has featured in the vast majority of games. Earning praise from his name sake German legend Gerd Muller,
Muller has been called up into the national squad ahead of the friendly with Argentina of Mar. 3. So expect him to make his debut then.
As I said not a certainty to be in South Africa, but if he is be sure to keep you eye on him.
6. Sergio Canales - Spain
This is my outside bet of the slide show if you will. Sergio Canales the Spanish wonderkid has burst on to the scene over the last couple of months.
Although he has only played in a handful of games for his club Racing, rumblings are being heard that Vicente Del Bosque is keen to take a closer look at the player.
The 18 year old has unquestionable ability and has got the Spanish media eating out the palm of his hand at the moment, so it may not be such a surprise if he was taken to South Africa if not only for the experience.
He has been likened to Guti and he is a classy playmaker who also has an eye for goal. His team-mates at Racing have been quick to praise him too, calling him 'incredible' and a 'marvel'.
Will join Real Madrid after the World Cup, so what better way to announce yourself to the world than playing in the biggest tournament in the world.
5. Eljero Elia - Holland
Eljero Elia is an exciting winger who loves to run at defenders. After making the move to Germany in the summer with Hamburger SV he has already become a huge star.
Elia is quick and possess' excellent dribbling ability, he offers the 'Oranje' something they didn't previously have,another option on the left and the ability to beat the full back. With him and Robben on either side they have a very balanced side.
After making his debut as a second half substitute against Japan in 2009 - where he claimed two assists—he then scored his first international goal against Scotland in the next. Not a bad record 2 caps, 1 goal, 2 assists.
On current form Eljero Elia is poised to make his World Cup bow in South Africa. My money would be on him improving on his current international statistics while he is there too.
4. Milos Krasic - Serbia
My tip of the tournament before we into detail about Milos Krasic is—that Serbia will reach at the very least the quarter finals of the competition.
Right now that I've been the bookie lets take a closer look at the CSKA winger.
Krasic over the past three years has been gaining a reputation for himself, playing in Eastern Europe out of the gaze of the ever intruding Western clubs and their media circus.
Playing in European competition every year and improving with every game Krasic is now ready to make a big splash in a bigger pond.
The tricky right winger also has been gathering experience with the national team winning over 25 caps.
Expected to be heading west in the summer, Krasic as the perfect window in which to show case his talents.
With Madrid, Milan and the Manchester clubs interested you will be hearing a lot more about Milos Krasic on the coming months, and for a good reason too, he is a very good footballer.
3. James Milner - England
When talking of the most improved footballers not just in England but worldwide over the last year, James Milner's name has to be ranked at the very top.
The Aston Villa man has been simply outstanding for both club and when selected country.
A true all-round athlete, Milner can play almost anywhere on the pitch. It is this trait that could prove most valuable to England. A utility player in its truest sense he can play at either full back, on both wings, as a central midfielder and in the hole behind the striker.
A real professional, he is described as the 'hardest working player in training' by former England Under 21 boss Peter Taylor. Has worked very hard on his crossing and using either foot and is now considered a two footed player.
Come June it wouldn't be a least bit surprising if Milner has forced his way into the England starting XI. Fabio Capello is a known admirer, and Milners personality and ability may be what the Italian is looking for in a World Cup year.
2. Yoann Gourcuff - France
Yoann Gourcuff: If you haven't heard of him then you soon will. This elegant midfielder has been winning rave reviews in France over the last two years and rightly so.
How Milan quite agreed to let a player of this class leave them is beyond me, when signing for Bordeaux on loan two years ago he was in desperate need of matches as his career had stagnated while sitting on the bench at the San Siro.
Fast forward to the present day and he is current Ligue 1 player of the year after helping his team to the double last season..
Hailed rather unsuprisingly as the 'new Zidane' he is now the lynchpin of the national team, playing in the hole that they have tried to fill since 2006.
A very clever player with great technical ability Gourcuff will surely be heading back to one of the 'big leagues' in the not to distant future.
With him and Franck Ribery firing on both cylinders who knows how far the French can go in South Africa?
1. Gonzalo Higuain - Argentina
This guy has superstar written all over him. Gonzalo Higuain has been playing the Real Madrid first team since the age of 19 and hasn't batted an eye lid at the pressure heaped on his young shoulders.
A classy striker who is very quick off the mark Higuain is unassuming when you watch him, but he bursts into life and pops up with a goal from nothing. He is a big striker at 6'0" and can be physical in his play.
Now comes the question that I and half of Argentina want to know. Why did it take Diego Maradona so long to pick him?!
With Argentina struggling for form and being criticised for bring a small team, they were crying out for someone like Higuain to play alongside a Tevez or Aguero.
But that doesn't matter as he is in the squad now and deservedly so. Real Madrids top scorer last season with 22 and holding his own with the 'Galacticos II' this, Gonzalo Higuain is about to explode on the World Cup.
Mark my words.