2010 World Cup: Ranking the Club Sides with the Most Semifinal Players
The semifinals of the 2010 World Cup will feature 92 players that make up the rosters of the four competing countries.
The players play their regular football for 44 teams based around Europe and South America.
We look at the club sides that have contributed the most players to the last four showdown in South Africa.
Note: this article counts the clubs that players were with at the start of the World Cup and does not account for any subsequent transfer deals.
No. 10: The Two Player Clubs
Seven clubs have two players from countries competing in the World Cup semifinals.
Spain’s Athletic Bilbao has Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente in the national team’s World Cup roster.
Though neither is a likely starter against Germany, both players have already featured in the World Cup as substitutes.
Toni Kross and Stefan Kiessling of German club Bayer Leverkusen are in Joachim Low’s roster.
Kross has made two substitute appearances, while Kiessling featured for 10 minutes towards the conclusion of Germany’s second round victory over England.
Dutch club PSV contributes national team players, Ibrahim Afellay and Andre Ooijer, who stepped in to the first team at the last minute to star in the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Brazil.
Villarreal is where Spain’s leftback Joan Capdevila plays his club football and the La Liga side is also the home of Uruguay defender Diego Godin.
The South American semifinalist has duos at Porto (Jorge Fucile and Alvaro Pereira) and Universidad de Chile (Mauricio Victorino and Alvaro Fernandez).
English Premier League side Arsenal is where Spain’s Cesc Fabregas and Holland’s Robin Van Persie are based.
No. 9: Stuttgart (Four Players)
German club Stuttgart had a mixed 2009-10 season.
It reached the last 16 of the Champions League, before being eliminated by Barcelona, but poor form in the Bundesliga meant coach Markus Babbel was fired in December.
His replacement Christian Gross inspired a fantastic run which saw Stuttgart qualify for next season’s Europa League.
Stuttgart’s four World Cup semifinal representatives include Sami Khedira, the midfielder who has proved such an effective replacement for injured Germany captain Michael Ballack.
Striker Cacau has made a number of substitute appearance for Germany and scored in the 4-0 opening victory against Australia.
Serdar Tasci has not yet featured for Germany, but Dutch fullback Khalid Boulahrouz started his team’s final group match against Cameroon and will play against Uruguay.
No. 8: Valencia (Four Players)
Spanish club Valencia has struggled in recent years to cope with a massive debt incurred by the building of a new stadium.
This has meant star striker David Villa, whose 28 goals this season helped the club finish in third place in La Liga, has finally been sold to Barcelona for a fee believed to be in excess of $50m.
The club may also be forced to sell some of the World Cup semifinalists remaining on its books.
David Silva, who started Spain’s opening game defeat by Switzerland but has yet to feature again, is set to join Manchester City after the tournament ends.
Winger Juan Mata has made one substitute appearance against Honduras, while Carlos Marchena has featured twice during the late stages of the knockout games against Portugal and Paraguay.
Uruguay’s Ignacio Gonzalez started the opening day scoreless draw with France, but has yet to feature again.
No. 7: Liverpool (Four Players)
English side Liverpool has endured a torrid season, finishing seventh in the Premier League and ending with the departure of its head coach Rafael Benitez.
New coach Roy Hodgson will be pleased to note that he has four players featuring in the semifinals of the World Cup though, given the club’s financial troubles, may face a challenge in persuading these stars to remain part of his plans.
Liverpool is the highest ranked side in this list from a nation not appearing in the semifinals.
However, two of those players, Spain’s Jose Reina and Holland’s Ryan Babel, have yet to make an appearance for their teams.
Spanish striker Fernando Torres has started each of his side’s matches but is struggling for form and may not be guaranteed a place in the first eleven against Germany.
Holland’s Dirk Kuyt has also started each of his country’s game but to much greater effect.
The Dutchman scored in Holland’s opening win over Denmark and provided the assist for Wesley Sneijder’s winner in the quarterfinal against Brazil.
No. 6: Werder Bremen (Four Players)
An excellent 2009-10 season saw German side Werder Bremen finish third in the Bundesliga and qualify for the Champions League.
The team also reached the last 16 of the Europa league where it was eliminated by Spanish side Valencia on away goals after a sensational 4-4 draw in Germany.
Two of Werder’s stars have made key contributions to Germany’s run to the semifinals.
Playmaker Mesut Ozil has been one of the stars of the World Cup and scored a brilliant winner in Germany’s crucial Group D match against Ghana.
Per Mertesacker has been a key figure in a defense that has only conceded twice in five games.
Winger Marko Marin has made two late appearances against Australia and Serbia, while goalkeeper Tim Wiese has yet to feature.
No. 5: Ajax (Five Players)
Ajax of Amsterdam has maintained its tradition of supplying the World Cup with exciting young talent.
The legendary Dutch club finished the 2009-10 Eredivise season in second place despite scoring an astonishing 106 goals in 34 games.
35 of these strikes were provided by Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, who added three more to his season’s total as his national team progressed to the semifinals in South Africa.
However, Suarez’s World Cup looks to have come to a controversial end following his red card for a deliberate handball that denied Ghana the victory in the final minute of extra-time in the team’s quarterfinal clash.
Another Uruguayan Ajax star Nicolas Lodeiro was also sent off, when he picked up two bookings after coming on a substitute during Uruguay’s opening day draw with France.
As Lodeiro will also miss the semifinal meeting with Holland through injury, Ajax’s Dutch stars will not come up against their club mates.
Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and right-back Gregory Van Der Wiel have both started every game for Holland.
However, Van Der Wiel is suspended for the semifinal after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament against in the quarterfinal win over Brazil
Midfielder Denny De Zeeuw made a late appearance against Denmark and looks set to start against Uruguay.
No. 4: Hamburg (Six Players)
After a poor season in which it finished in seventh place in the Bundesliga, German side Hamburg can proud of its player’s contributions to the 2010 World Cup.
Jerome Boateng has forced his way into Germany’s first team after coming back form injury.
The fullback made the first eleven for the final group match against Ghana and has started every game since.
Marcell Jansen and Piotr Trochowski both made substitute appearances against Ghana and Argentina, though Dennis Aogo has yet to feature.
Dutch defender Joris Mathijsen is a crucial part of his team’s defense and though injury forced him to miss the quarterfinal win against Brazil, he will return to the side for the semifinal against Uruguay.
Young Dutch winger Eljero Elia has made a number of exciting appearances as a substitute.
No. 3: Real Madrid (Six Players)
Despite spending over $100m on the world’s biggest stars, Spanish club Real Madrid could not win La Liga or the Champions League in the 2009-10 season.
None of its big name signings managed to make much an impact at the World Cup either.
The exception is Spain’s Xavi Alonso who has started all of his country’s games in South Africa, though he did miss a penalty in the quarterfinal victory over Paraguay.
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas was a penalty hero in that game when he made a crucial save from the spot.
Fullback Sergio Ramos is another who has started every game for Spain, though Alvaro Arbeloa and Raul Albiol have yet to feature.
Real Madrid’s other representative is the club outcast Rafael Van Der Vaart, who has started a number of games for Holland.
No. 2: Barcelona (Eight Players)
The Spanish league title-winning club’s stars make up a significant proportion of the first Spain team to reach a World Cup semifinal.
Six of the eight Barcelona players in the Spanish roster are regular starters in Vicente Del Bosque’s team.
Gerard Pique and Carlos Puyol recreate the center-back pairing that they perform at club level, while Xavi Hernadez, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta do likewise in the midfield.
Spain’s star striker David Villa has yet to play a game in a Barcelona shirt as he only signed for the club just before the World Cup began.
Striker Pedro Rodriguez has made a number of appearances as a substitute, while goalkeeper Victor Valdes is the only Barcelona player yet to feature for Spain in South Africa.
No. 1: Bayern Munich (Nine Players)
The 2009-10 winners of Germany’s Bundesliga and losing Champions League finalists has provided key players to two of the 2010 World Cup semifinalists.
The thrilling Germany team that stunned Argentina counted Bayern’s Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philip Lahm amongst its starters.
And though Miroslav Klose hardly featured for his club side during the season, he has continued his phenomenal World Cup scoring rate and now has 12 finals goal in total.
Another Bayern striker Mario Gomez has made a number of substitute appearances for Germany, though goalkeeper Jorg-Hans Butt has yet to feature.
Fullback Holger Badstuber started Germany’s opening two games against Australia and Serbia but has yet to play since.
Bayern has also contributed to the Dutch cause with winger Arjen Robben returning from injury to score in Holland’s second round victory over Slovakia.
Midfielder Mark Van Bommel has patrolled the central areas with the same brutal efficiency for Holland as he does for his German club.