Two of the best teams on their respective continents will square off against each other in Cape Town today.
Cameroon, led by star Samuel Eto’o, is entering the final game of the group stage looking to give their country something to cheer about. Cameroon is mathematically eliminated from the tournament and trying to win their first game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The only thing standing in Cameroon’s way are the Dutch.
You could make the case that the Netherlands has been the best team so far in the World Cup. The Dutch have not conceded a goal this World Cup and have scored three goals (one own goal) in two games. The scary part is that the Dutch offense hasn’t even gotten into full swing yet.
The Netherlands is sitting atop Group E with six points and has already clinched a spot to the round of 16. They can clinch 1st place in the group with a win or tie against Cameroon. Look for the Dutch to go after Cameroon early and often as they will be looking to coast to a victory.
Today’s match will feature some of the best soccer players in the world. Let’s introduce you to some of these stars.
Dirk Kuyt is a goal scoring machine.
For his club Liverpool, in Kuyt’s 141 appearances he has 46 goals. Also unlike Messi, Kuyt scores goals for his national team. In Kuyt’s 65 appearances with the Dutch, he has 16 goals.
This forward is always attacking and crashing the net. Kuyt scored the first goal of the 2010 World Cup by a Dutch player in a 2-0 win over Denmark (It was actually the second goal of the match, the first was an own goal by the Danes).
Look for Kuyt to add to his goal total against Cameroon.
Wesley Sneijder may be the best player on the entire pitch during this game.
The Inter Milan midfielder started his youth career with the Dutch squad Ajax and has since then played for power clubs, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. In the first year for Inter, Sneijder scored eight goals in 41 appearances and helped Inter win the EUFA Champions League.
He has also been very successful while playing for the Orange. In 63 appearances for the Dutch, Sneijder has 15 goals.
Like Kuyt he has scored one goal this World Cup but will be hungry for more against Cameroon.
Wesley Snijder’s teammate at Inter Milan, Samuel Eto’o, makes the cut.
Two or three years ago, Eto’o may have been considered the best striker in the world. In his five seasons with Barcelona, Eto’o scored a mind-blowing 108 goals in 145 appearances. He is not the same player now that he was back then, but he is still deadly with the ball at his feet.
Eto’o is the only representative from Cameroon on this list. Why you may ask?
Cameroon is the definition of a one-man team. Without Eto’o Cameroon would not have made it to the World Cup. Eto’o has scored 46 goals in his 101 appearances for the national team. Still don’t believe me that Eto’o is all Cameroon has got?
After Cameroon qualified for the World Cup, Eto’o bought every player and coach $42,000 personalized designer watch. In total it cost him $1.3 million.
Let’s see what kind of gift Eto’o gives his teammates after failing to get past the group stage.
Rafael van der Vaart has the second most Caps on this Dutch team at 80 and he is only 27 years-old. In comparison, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has 101 Caps but he is 35!
That should give you a hint of how important van der Vaart is to the Dutch.
This attacking midfielder plays his club football at Real Madrid and in two seasons has 11 goals. On the national team, he has 16.
Van der Vaart is a key part in the machine that is the Netherlands offense. He will make his presence known against Cameroon.
Robin van Persie is the most essential part to the Dutch offense. He has more goals that anyone else on the Dutch team (18) in only 46 appearances.
The Arsenal man always seems to be around the ball making the right play. He hasn’t scored in the 2010 World Cup yet, but that will change shortly.
He needs to get hot quickly if the Dutch are going to challenge for the title. Look for van Persie to use this game against Cameroon to get him and the Dutch offenses really rolling.