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World Cup Group B: Names To Know

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See Group A from earlier.

Group B


Who you know:

Tim Cahill- an ageless wonder and 34 years old, Cahill currently plays stateside with New York’s Red Bulls. It almost seems like this is Cahill’s farewell tour, but he was known to do some serious damage during his 8 years at England’s Everton club team. Cahill’s international career has also been quite impressive while scoring 32 goals in 69 appearances with the Socceroos

Who you should know:

Mark Bresciano- 2 months Cahill’s younger, but 5 international caps his elder, Marco has is making his 3rd World Cup appearance for the boys from down under. Marco has climbed the ranks from Australia’s Under-17 squad and competed extensively in Italy’s Serie A league.

Who you will know:

Mile Jedinak- captaining both the Australian nation team and his English club Crystal Palace, Jedinak is the bridge between the young core of Socceroos and its aging starters. With many miles still in the tank, Jedinak helped Crystal Palace promote to the Barclay’s Premier League after the 2012-13 season and led his squad to a middle table finish in 2013-14.


Who you know:

Alexis Sanchez- it’s hard to think about Chilean football and not think of Sanchez’s contributions over the past 8 years. A goal scoring machine, Sanchez caught the ever insightful eye of Spain’s Barcelona. While leading an impressive stint at Barcelona, Sanchez will have to get in line for media time at Barca behind the likes of Argentina’s Lionel Messi.

Who you should know:

Artulo Vidal- nicknamed the Warrior, Vidal may just be the best, but least known footballer in the world. Starting for Italy’s Juventus (loving known as the Old Lady), Arturo wreaks havoc in the midfield. Vidal will be the key to helping Chile defeat it’s fellow Group B giants in Spain and the Netherlands.

Who you will know:

Arturo Vidal- this may be a cheat putting him here, but I can’t think of anyone who may gain more fame from helping his team advance to the knockout rounds of the World Cup. While there are many other names that may emerge from this talented roster, Vidal will be talked about around the water coolers for at least the next 4 weeks.


Another giant of the football world which will receive 2 players per category

Who you know:

Arjen Robben – the face of the Dutch, Bayern Munich and the X-men, Robben amazes soccer fans from around the world. Ok- so maybe he is not an original X-men member, but you can’t tell me he doesn’t look like Professor Xavier minus the wheelchair. If there is an honor out there, Robben has helped to win it. The lone achievement Robben has not been a team member up is that elusive World Cup title and after finishing as the runner up in 2010, Robben and his left foot will look to rewrite that script.

Robin van Persie – thought of as possibly the best finisher in the world as recently as last year, van Persie arguably struggled in last year’s role as the primary Man United option. van Persie is no stranger to the back of the net and there is no doubt he will be infuriating many opposing goalkeepers down in Brazil.

Who you should know:

Wesley Sneijder – with his best years behind him, yet only 30 years old, Sneijder was once one of the world’s elite. Working wonders in his time at Ajax (Netherland’s best football club), Real Madrid and Inter Milan, Sneijder has been around the block and back. He will no doubt deliver some jaw-dropping crosses, but seems to have lost a step in defense.

Rafael van der Vaart – unfortunately for both van der Vaart and the Netherlands, he was a late scratch from the Brazil roster. His impact and history for the national team cannet be ignored, thus earning the brief shout-out

Who you will know:

No list of the force from Holland would be complete without mentioning Nigel de Jong, Dirk Kuyt and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, being 29, 33, and 30 years old, respectively, leaves much desire of me from mentioning them as the stars of tomorrow. While it’s not just their age, it is extremely hard to envision a revitalization of their career. The biggest question mark for the entire tournament comes from the Dutch defense. Of the young core, Daley Blind is poised for the breakout. Switching between Left-back and a defensive midfielder, Blind will have opportunity, coupled with the size and talent to rise to the occasion.


The only team who probably deserves 3 people in each category, La Roja will be looking to defend their title and refill the World Cup with what I can only assume was an abundance of Sangria

Who you know:

Andres Iniesta – a one man wrecking crew that can cut through a defense with the skill and poise of a world class surgeon. Opposing teams will be keeping tabs on Iniesta at all points during the game. Having every tool necessary to be an elite midfielder, the only thing Iniesta needs may be a bigger trophy case.

Xavi – the yin to Iniesta’s yang, Xavi is equally as talented as perhaps an ounce more deadly. Xavi gets the edge when it comes to free kicks over Iniesta, but that gap is not huge by any means. When (not if) Spain has a free kick, DO NOT leave your seat.

Who you should know:

There is no way any writer can do this section justice. While Iniesta and Xavi may separate themselves above other Spanish footballers, not only is that margin paper thin, but the next grouping is almost half a dozen deep. Names to know by position:

GK – Iker Casillas. Captain and second to none in the world at his position

Defender- Sergio Ramos & Pique. As formidable as it comes. Mighty Ducks Bash Brothers, anyone?

Midfielder- Cesc Fabergas & Xabi Alonso. Seriously… deepest midfield in the world.

Forward- Fernando Torres & David Villa. Relentless scoring from ANY angle

Who you will know:

Diego Costa – if there is one “future star” you can take to the bank, it is this guy. Leading his home club to an improbably Champions League final, only a hamstring injury was able to slow him down. It’s rumored he is fully healed, and if that is the case, Spain is a lock for semi-finals or beyond. Costa will have teams salivating to pick him up once his contract with Atletico expires, or may just even buy him out as early as late July.

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