About to embark on the biggest season of his career, Neymar could be an interesting player watch in this years Confederations Cup. After largely disappointing in recent games for Brazil, he will be keen to silence the critics and of course, wet the appetite of Catalan Giants, Barcelona.
Hoping for a bigger role for Manchester United next season, the Confederations Cup provides a perfect opportunity for Kagawa to prove his worth at the top level of the game. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he claimed he wasn’t overall satisfied with his first season with the Red Devils:
“I wasn’t satisfied with my overall performance but I played well in the second half of the season and started to get more and more confidence. Hopefully, I can keep that going at the Confederations Cup. In this business, you need to be like Rooney or Van Persie and prove yourself if you want the ball.”
After a storming start at AC Milan, Mario Balotelli will look to bring his Serie A form to Brazil. In the previous European Championship he showed his worth as classic number nine by scoring two fine goals against Germany in the Semi Final. Currently a confident player and capable of scoring at any given moment, he could be worth a punt for the top goalscorer.
When he missed Euro 2012 through injury, Spain were forced to revert to a false nine system. It worked perfectly and it seemed that David Villa’s time as a Spain player was running out. However after returning and putting in a decent season for Barcelona, he is back to the international scene. It will be intriguing to see whether he can prove to his club Barcelona that he is too high of an asset to be sold.
Not particularly spoken about because of his footballing ability recently, the Confederations Cup provides an excellent opportunity for Suarez to diminish some criticism that was received in the wake of the Ivanovic bite incident. Furthermore, with a number of top clubs looking at him, it may be difficult to see him staying at Liverpool following a stupendous tournament.
John Obi Mikel
After dominating the African Cup of Nations, John Obi Mikel will look to assert himself on the Confederations Cup. With a pass success rate of 88.6% according to Who Scored, he should be the key element in Nigeria’s midfield.