50 players to watch at the World Cup - No 34 Ryan Nelsen

26 April 2010 10:22
A new week and the countdown continues. Up this Monday is New Zealand cpatain Ryan Nelsen, profiled by Robbie Blakeley.

Name: Ryan Nelsen
Age: 32
Club: Blackburn Rovers
International Caps: 38
International Goals: 6

The Blackburn Rovers captain has been one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League over the last five and a half years, and much of the All Whites' ability to stay in games this summer will rest on Nelsen's shoulders.

Nelsen moved to the USA at the age of 20, having turned his back on a promising cricket career, where he was a successful college football player before signing for Major League Soccer Side DC United in 2001.

The defender is a natural born leader, having captained DC United and Blackburn, as well as being skipper of New Zealand, and shone in his country's World Cup play-off against Bahrain.

Nelsen signed for Blackburn in January 2005, after Mark Hughes spotted the player's vast potential, and he recently extended his stay at Ewood Park until 2012.

At 32 years old, his experience will be key for the Kiwis in a difficult group that contains Italy, Paraguay and Slovakia.

No 35: Tranquilo Barnetta
No 36: Jozy Altidore

No 37: Robert Koren
No 38: Teko Modise
No 39: Simon Kjaer
No 40: Jong Tae-Se
No 41: Nadir Belhadj

No 42: Roque Santa Cruz

No 43: Park Ji-Sung

No 44: Nikola Zigic
No 45: Yaya Toure
No 46: Angelos Charisteas
No 47: Keisuke Honda
No 48: Hugo Lloris
No 49: Mario Gomez
No 50: Guiseppe Rossi

Source: DSG

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:57