FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013: Players to watch
The ninth FIFA Confederations Cup begins on June 15. Here we highlight our players to watch in Brazil.
Neymar (Brazil) – Following his big-money move to Barcelona, highly-rated attacker Neymar will be out to silence any potential doubters. The 21-year-old has scored 20 goals in 33 international appearances, and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari will hope he can continue to be prolific for the World Cup hosts.
Paulinho (Brazil) – The midfielder scored the equaliser with a terrific volley against England earlier in the month. The Corinthians player has been linked with Inter, and he will be looking to justify his growing reputation and help Brazil retain their crown.
Javier Hernandez (Mexico) – He may not have been able to nail down a regular place for Manchester United last term, but Hernandez remains a talisman for his country with 32 goals in 49 internationals. He will undoubtedly be looking to add to that tally in Brazil.
Shinji Okazaki (Japan) – The Stuttgart forward scored only four times for his club last term, but is a constant attacking threat for Japan. The 27-year-old played a key role in their passage through to the FIFA World Cup 2014 finals, scoring eight goals in 14 qualifying appearances.
Stephan El Shaarawy (Italy) – The Milan striker enjoyed another prolific season in Serie A, scoring 16 goals and, although he has yet to establish himself in the national team, his natural ability in front of goal makes him a clear danger to opposing defences should Cesare Prandelli choose to let him loose.
Jordi Alba (Spain) – The likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta will attract most attention in the Spain team, but there can be no doubt that Alba’s pace down the left flank gives Vicente del Bosque’s side another dimension in attack.
David Silva (Spain) – The Manchester City attacking midfielder will be hoping to provide the creative spark going forward for Spain. Silva scored the opener in the UEFA European Championship final in 2012 and should be a vital asset in this tournament.
Edinson Cavani (Uruguay) – The physically imposing striker is sure to be one of the stars of the competition. He scored his 13th international goal, netting the winner in a FIFA World Cup qualifier against Venezuela in their last game, and will be aiming to have a big impact again for Oscar Tabarez’s men.
Brown Ideye (Nigeria) – Another player yet to really make a name for himself on the international scene, Ideye could fly under the radar for a dangerous Nigeria side. Ideye netted 21 goals in 40 appearances for Dynamo Kiev last season, and has the talent to replicate that form for his country.
Steevy Chong Hue (Tahiti) – Tahiti may be huge underdogs for the tournament, but should they cause a stir then Chong Hue is likely to be at the forefront. The 23-year-old striker has scored nine goals in 17 internationals and should have confidence as he pits himself against some of the world’s best.