10 players whose performance in Confederations Cup in Kazan to be observed by the whole world
Cristiano Ronaldo, Alexis Sánchez and Chicharito – who of them is going to become the hero of his national team in the Confederations Cup? On the threshold of the kick-off of the world football show, Realnoe Vremya's sports staff reviews ten most important players who will come to Russia and Kazan very soon.
- Tim Cahill (Australia)
This defender has never been very popular among the fans of other countries. However, he is the image of today's national team of Australia. The defender who turned into forward as time went by earned the right to be called the main football person in his country thanks to a hard work. Even if Cahill played in the midfield more often, he already scored 48 balls for his national team (and he is its best forward in history).
There might have been more goals if Tim had not started to play for the national team of Australia aged 24 only. Earlier he played for junior and second teams of Samoa. During this qualifying campaign for the 2018 WC, Cahill already scored 9 goals and is one of the leaders of the race of forwards in the Asian area together with Sardar Azmun. Tim is an undoubted leader in the squad that is going to come to the Confederations Cup to Russia. What else we should add because he was the only participant of this competition in 2005. Cahill often surprises spectators with beautiful goals in big competitions.
- Claudio Bravo (Chile)
The first goalkeeper of the national team of Chile missed the friendly match against the Russian team, so our compatriots have not seen his performance live yet. Meanwhile, Bravo is quite a famous goalkeeper playing for Manchester City. Pep Guardiola who has been keeping him in the first team for a long time despite the Chilean's awful statistics respects him a lot. Actually, Bravo's this season was not successful. And he can't boast about it. So for the goalie, the Confederations Cup is going to be an opportunity to justify himself, first of all, for all the faults that pursued him during the year.
The current national team of Chile is famous for other stars like Vidal and Sánchez. But Claudio Bravo can be proud that his saves in the last ditch also make a considerable contribution to the national team's victories. For instance, in the last Copa America where Chile won, Bravo was the person who saved a penalty after the match against Argentina. Claudio is quite modest to speak about it as heroism, but such saves are expensive.
- Arturo Vidal (Chile)
He is the second representative of the Chilean national team in this list. In his team, Bayern's midfield is responsible for the centre of the pitch and does it very well. It is no surprise that the current generation of Chilean players is so successful – the contribution of Vidal who almost bites his rivals in his area in two is also big. At the same time, Vidal can't be called a destroyer only. He also can successfully join attacks and help his teammates by scoring and assisting goals that suit every taste.
In the national team, Vidal already works with the third coach. He was the first midfield of all of them. Arturo is a fighter. There is not tiredness and pain for him. He always devotes himself to the game. He already has 89 matches for the national team under his belt where he scored 22 goals. Of course, this player is very important for Chile. If there is any force majeure like injuries or disqualification, precisely Vidal can become the main energiser of the Confederations Cup. Not only thanks to goals and assists but also quarrels and conflicts on the pitch.
- Alexis Sánchez (Chile)
Anyway, Alexis Sánchez is the main attacking power of the Chilean national team. The attacking midfield of Arsenal from London is the main source of problems for the defence of Chile's rivals and key hope of the country in the Confederations Cup and 2018 WC. Like Vidal, Sánchez started to play in the national team on a regular basis under Marcelo Bielsa. The head coach actively used Alexis in the wing of attack even if the young football player did not have strong positions at his club.
Sánchez succeeds thanks to amazing dribbling and high speech getting rid of the rival's defenders again and again. In the 2015 and 2016 Copa America, Alexis was noticeable 5 times having become the main creator of the national team's victories. In the friendly against Russia, Sánchez appeared as substitution and immediately show he came here with serious intentions. The result is unknown now but we are waiting for beautiful goals and combinations from Alexis.
- Javier Hernández (México)
This small forward recently became the best forward of the national team of Mexico and is crying for increasing his margin from his chasers right in the Confederations Cup. Chicharito as he was called as a kid is able to become the main attacker of this competition or at least participant of the fight for this title. His compatriot Cuauhtémoc Blanco's record who scored 6 balls and shared the first place in the list of scorers of the competition with Ronaldinho and Al-Otaibiin distant 1999 can become the bar he can aspire to. In general, Blanko together with Ronaldinho is the best attacker in the history of the Confederation Cups.
Now the Mexican player has 47 goals scored for the national team of Mexico. He scored in one in two matches, which, undoubtedly, makes him terrifying power in the eyes of his rivals. Despite his small dimensions (175 cm of height), Chicharito scores goals with both his foot and head.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
It is the main star of the upcoming tournament, of course. Moreover, the national team of Portugal together with the greatest football player of modern time will stay in Kazan, at Rubin's training base. But citizens of Kazan will almost be able to meet the legendary player of Real.
Should we be talking about Ronaldo's merits in the light of his awards and titles?Probably only one curious fact should be mentioned: Cristiano won almost everything besides two trophies – world cup and confederations up. This player's aspiration to win all the tournaments where he takes part makes the national team of Portugal the main candidate to the final victory. We hope Ronaldo will participate in the very first match of the cup – on 18 June against Mexico because it will be at Kazan Arena.
- Rafael Márquez (Mexico)
Another legendary football player Rafael Márquez is going to impede Portugal from starting with a victory. The defender who is already 38 years and rose the Confederation Cup under his head in far 1999 still plays at the highest level. But now it is tougher to withstand the tension of the fight. However, Márquez doesn't lose his famous stamina. At his age he is still the main defender and continues scoring the most important goals for his national team.
- Bernardo Silva (Portugal)
This 22-year-old midfield made his debut in the national team only in 2015. But now he is already one of the most prospective players of his country. Bernardo Silva spent an amazing season at Monaco and was invited to Manchester City that paid £43 million for him. At the moment, Silva played 12 matches for the national team in total. And he is obviously going to increase this number in the Confederations Cup.
Bernardo skilfully possesses the ball preferring to lead the game on his own, without switching the burden to his teammates' shoulders. Too mature performances of Silva for his age led his Monaco to the Champions League final and helped the club to win the main title in France. Portugal needed such fresh blood a long time ago – a substitution for Moutinho, Veloso and Meireles was expected for a long time. Now only Moutinho is present from this troika who gives leading roles to younger compatriots more often.
- Julian Draxler (Germany)
Germany did not send the first team to Russia having decided to limit to young players. However, several interesting players were made room in this squad. Julian Draxler who played quite a good season in France at PSG is to become the main star of the team. The main question — the competitiveness of Germany in the Confederations Cup — will depend on his shape.
Draxler's fate develops in the best possible way: he has been playing at a professional level since aged 17. Whether it is a joke or not, right Draxler is the youngest German player who chaired the national team of Germany with a captain's armband. He made it at 20. He is already going to go to the Confederations Cup as leader of the national team aged 23.
- Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)
The goalkeeper is another player whom the chances of the national team of Germany will depend on. Marc-André ter Stegen joined the national team of his country quickly. And if his first match made Marc-André the second youngest goalie of the national team, the second match made him almost an idol of the young generation. Having come on as sub during the match, Stegen immediately saved a penalty shot, not from somebody but very Lionel Messi. Several years later, he booked a seat in goal of Barcelona having driven Claudio Bravo out.
The more such saves ter Stegen performs, the more chances he and his national team has to win the final in the competition. German plays at least one match in Kazan. Here they meet with the favourites of the Confederations Cup – Chile.