THE LIST: Sportsmail's 50 players to watch at the World Cup - Nos 10-1

10 June 2010 03:32
        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Who will light up the World Cup? Plenty of superstars on show in South Africa play or have played in the Barclays Premier League - so we know what to expect from the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo. But, as a special treat, we've picked out the ones to watch who have never starred in the English top flight. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Who will write their name into World Cup history this summer?

Sportsmail gazes into the crystal ball for this week's edition of The List.

We're counting down the top 50 players who we reckon could play a blinder in South Africa and join the icons of all time, which we charted last week.

There are the veterans getting onelast shot at finals immortality and teenagers hoping to get on the pitch to announce themselves on the big stage.

There are those who need a big tournament after a poor domestic season and countless more who will be looking for a big move off the back of their exploits.

There is just one rule for our List: none of these players has plied his trade in the Barclays Premier League. Sorry, Cristiano.

We figure you probably know those guys well enough already (though you'll probably know our No 1 quite well too!).

As ever, we want to know what you think. So join the debate on our message boards or by adding your comments at the bottom of the article as we reveal 10 icons each day this week till our No 1 emerges on Friday.


ReadNos 50-41Read Nos 30-21 ReadNos 40-31Read Nos 20-11 

10) Luis Suarez (Uruguay)There's a wealth of attacking talent heading to South Africa this summer and few excite as much as the Ajax striker.

He scored an incredible 49 goals in 48 appearances last season - a record which has thrust him right to the top of every major club's shopping list.

He'll be running the line with Atletico Madrid's Diego Forlan - a strike partnership which has many believing Uruguay can be the surprise team of the tournament.

Prediction: Uruguay will have to be at their best to progress from Group A but Suarez's goals will take his country further than many expect.


Hotshot: Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bagged 49 goals for Ajax last season

9) Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)Still only 22 years old but Higuain has forged an imposing reputation during his three years at the Bernabeu.

He bagged 29 goals in 39 appearances and chipped in with a further six assists, too. No wonder Real have recently tied him down to a six-year contract to ward off any potential suitors.

Prediction: Let's remember, Maradona is his eccentric boss but Higuain's talent is not in any doubt. He'll get goals and is a decent bet for top goalscorer.

The Real deal: Higuain will link up with Jose Mourinho at Madrid next season

8) Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon)What do you give the man who has everything? A winners medal in South Africa would do nicely. Eto'o has won it all during his time with Barcelona and Inter Milan and many are tipping Cameroon to be the African nation to go the furthest this summer.

The Inter Milan striker will lead his country in South Africa, is their top goal-scorer and is coming into the tournament off the back of a treble-winning season under Jose Mourinho at the San Siro.

Prediction: Eto'o will certainly shine - it's just those around him who may hold him back

7) Mesut Oezil (Germany)Do you really need us to list all the teams who are after Oezil at the moment? Every side with aspirations of winning the Champions League next term is after the Werder Bremen playmaker.

This 21-year-old has dazzling feet, boundless energy and an eye for a defence-splitting pass that will make even the most resolute defenders shudder.

Prediction: If he is given his chance, Oezil can light up the South Africa with his exciting brand of flair football.

Good move: Eto'o won the Champions League with new club Inter Milan

Flair: Young Werder Bremen and Germany midfielder Mesut Oezil

6) Xavi (Spain) Pass master: Xavi will feel at home in a Barcelona-dominated Spain side

5) Franck Ribery (France) Being Franck: France look pedestrian, but Ribery could light up the tournament

4) Luis Fabiano (Brazil) Luis Fabiano

3) Wesley Sneijder (Holland) The future's orange: Sneijder and Holland could go all the way in South Afrcia

2) David Villa (Spain)1) Lionel Messi (Argentina)

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Source: Daily_Mail