Premier League players to look out for at the Olympics
With the men's Olympic tournament getting under way in just a couple of days, we take a look at some of the top Premier League players that will be appearing at the tournament for the participating nations.
Mohamed Diame - Senegal & West Ham United
The French born defensive midfielder attracted the attention of Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona during his spell at Rayo Vallecano, but due to health problems he remained with Rayo until he joined Wigan Athletic in 2009. After three successful years he left Wigan on a free transfer and joined West Ham on a three-year deal. He was selected as one of three overage players for Senegal.
Magaye Gueye - Senegal & Everton
The 22-year-old winger moved to Everton from Strasbourg in 2010 for a fee thought to be around £1m. He has since made over 20 Premier League appearances for The Toffees, scoring on one occasion, in a 4-0 win over Sunderland. Another French born player, Gueye was influential for Everton in beating Sunderland in the FA Cup quarter-final last season, assisting Nikica Jelavic for Everton's first goal.
Sebastian Coates - Uruguay & Liverpool
21-year-old centre-back who moved to Anfield from Nacional last summer. Coates featured for Liverpool in the Premier League on 9 occasions, scoring one goal, in his debut season in English football. The young defender also has 9 caps and one goal at senior international level and was named Best Young Player of the tournament after the 2011 Copa America.
Luis Suarez - Uruguay & Liverpool
Controversial figure who arrived in the Premier League from Ajax in January 2011. The Liverpool striker played a prominent role in his country's impressive showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as well as Uruguay's 2011 Copa America win. He has scored 28 goals for his country in 54 appearances since 2007. Suarez was embroiled in a race war with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra following a 1-1 draw between the clubs in October 2011, that resulted in an eight-match ban for the forward.
Giovani Dos Santos - Mexico & Tottenham Hotspur
The Mexican attacker progressed through the academy at Barcelona before joining Tottenham in 2008. The youngster has not had the best of spells at White Hart Lane and has since spent loan spells at Ipswich, Galatasaray and Racing Santander. Despite struggling in England, he has received 59 caps for Mexico and has scored 14 goals. He scored the goal of the tournament at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament the Mexicans went onto win.
Dong-Won Ji - Republic of Korea & Sunderland
The 21-year-old is one of the stand out youngsters in his country. He moved to Sunderland last summer for around £2million and scored 2 Premier League goals in his debut season, including a last-minute winner against eventual league winners Manchester City. Has scored 8 goals in 18 caps for South Korea and scored the winning goal on his debut for his country against Syria in 2010.
Chu-Young Park - Republic of Korea & Arsenal
Park made a name for himself at FC Seoul before he joined Monaco in 2008. He spent three years playing in the French top-flight before moving to Arsenal in 2011. He has yet to make an impact in England and he only managed one Premier League appearance for the Gunners last season. The Korean has played for his nation on 59 occasions, scoring 25 goals.
Pajtim Kasami - Switzerland & Fulham
Born in Macedonia of Albanian descent, Kasami will be representing Switzerland at the 2012 Olympics. The midfielder joined Fulham in 2011 and has so far made 7 appearances for the club. He previously played for Palermo and spent time with Liverpool and Lazio as a youngster.
Rafael da Silva - Brazil & Manchester United
Rafael and his twin brother Fabio first trained with Manchester United in 2005, before finally joining the club in 2008. Rafael began making appearances for the first team after his 18th birthday and has since racked up 52 Premier League appearances for the club. The young right-back has played for Brazil on two occasions, both earlier this year.
Sandro - Brazil & Tottenham Hotspur
23-year-old defensive midfielder Sandro moved to Tottenham from Internacional in 2010. He recently scored in Brazil's Olympic warm-up victory over Team GB and has also been capped 9 times by Brazil and scored his first international goal in a friendly win over Gabon last year.
Ryan Nelsen - New Zealand & Queens Park Rangers
One of his country's most experienced and valued players, the 34-year-old defender was selected for the squad as an over-age pick. He first appeared in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 2005 and remained at Ewood Park until he joined Tottenham in January 2012. He left Spurs for QPR this summer, signing a one-year deal. He has 45 caps for New Zealand and scored one goal.
Chris Wood - New Zealand & West Bromwich Albion
Moved to West Brom in 2008 and the young Kiwi hit goal-scoring form for the Baggies' youth side before making his first team debut in 2009 and scoring his first senior goal later that year. He has since spent time on loan at Barnsley, Brighton, Birmingham and Bristol City. At just 20-years-old, Wood has already picked up 24 senior international caps and scored 7 goals.
David De Gea - Spain & Manchester United
After impressing at Athletico Madrid, winning the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in the process, the young goalkeeper moved to Manchester United for around £17million. The Spaniard finished his debut season in the Premier League with the best saves-to-shots ratio in the league (77.9%). He has yet to make his senior debut for Spain, but he has a wealth of international experience at youth level, having represented his country at every age level up to under-23.
Juan Mata - Spain & Chelsea
Attacking midfielder who began his career with Real Madrid before moving to Valencia in 2007. Mata began making a huge impact during his spell with Valencia and drew attention from some of the biggest clubs in the world. He completed a £23.5million move to Chelsea last summer and was a UEFA Champions League and FA Cup winner in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, scoring 12 goals and totalling 22 assists for the season. He was also a member of Spain's succesful Euro 2012 squad, scoring their fourth goal in the 4-0 final win over Italy.
Oriol Romeu - Spain & Chelsea
Like his countryman Mata, Romeu also moved to Stamford Bridge last summer. The Barcelona academy graduate can play at either defensive midfield or as a central defender. He made 15 Premier League appearances during his first season with Chelsea. He has played for Spain at a number of different youth levels and featured heavily for his country at the 2010 UEFA under-19 Championship.
Maynor Figueroa - Honduras & Wigan Athletic
The Honduran left-back signed for Wigan on-loan in January 2008 and signed permanently one year later. He won the Match of the Day Goal of the Season for 2009-10 after a spectacular strike from his own half against Stoke City in December 2009. He has played for Honduras 85 times in his career and is considered to be one the most consistent and reliable players to ever emerge from the Central American nation.
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