World Cup – Final Squads

Only one week left before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil kicks off, which means all 32 teams have handed in their squads of 23 players, with no big surprises or omissions on any of the bigger or more popular sides except for some known injuries.

Changes can still be made if a serious injury befalls one of the players, which allows a national side to call in a replacement at any time up to 24 hours before their first game. After the tournament has begun, teams will be unable to call in replacements for injuries.


Madjid Bougherra

Maybe the weakest team in this World Cup despite having a squad made up of players who all but two are playing outside of Algeria. A technicality helped them make the World Cup after Burkina Faso didn’t lodge in a complain in time (or some other FIFA BS), but that won’t matter if they’re able to trouble three superior teams in the group stage.

GKCédric Si Mohamed9 January 1985 (aged 29)1Algeria CS Constantine
GKMohamed Zemmamouche19 March 1985 (aged 29)7Algeria USM Alger
GKRaïs M’Bolhi25 April 1986 (aged 28)27Bulgaria CSKA Sofia
FWEl Arbi Hillel Soudani25 November 1987 (aged 26)21Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
MFRiyad Mahrez21 February 1991 (aged 23)1England Leicester City
MFNabil Bentaleb24 November 1994 (aged 19)2England Tottenham Hotspur
DFEssaïd Belkalem1 January 1989 (aged 25)13England Watford
MFMehdi Mostefa30 August 1983 (aged 30)22France Ajaccio
DFAïssa Mandi22 October 1991 (aged 22)2France Reims
DFCarl Medjani15 May 1985 (aged 29)25France Valenciennes
MFSaphir Taïder29 February 1992 (aged 22)10Italy Internazionale
DFDjamel Mesbah9 October 1984 (aged 29)26Italy Livorno
DFFaouzi Ghoulam1 February 1991 (aged 23)5Italy Napoli
MFHassan Yebda14 May 1984 (aged 30)24Italy Udinese
DFRafik Halliche2 September 1986 (aged 27)28Portugal Académica
FWNabil Ghilas20 April 1990 (aged 24)5Portugal Porto
FWIslam Slimani18 June 1988 (aged 25)19Portugal Sporting CP
DFMadjid Bougherra (c)7 October 1982 (aged 31)61Qatar Lekhwiya
MFMedhi Lacen15 May 1984 (aged 30)29Spain Getafe
MFYacine Brahimi8 February 1990 (aged 24)5Spain Granada
DFLiassine Cadamuro-Bentaïba5 March 1988 (aged 26)6Spain Mallorca
MFSofiane Feghouli26 December 1989 (aged 24)18Spain Valencia
MFAbdelmoumene Djabou31 January 1987 (aged 27)76Tunisia Club Africain


Lionel Messi

Many see Argentina as favorites to win this World Cup. The two-time champions (1978, 1986) have Lionel Messi, the world’s best player and a very impressive line of forwards. The questions have to do with other parts on the pitch: Their goalkeeper, the defense, and lack of any sort of creativity in the midfielder aside from Angel di Maria, who has a lot riding on his ability in this tournament.

1GKSergio Romero22 February 1987 (aged 27)45Monaco Monaco
12GKAgustín Orión26 July 1981 (aged 32)3Argentina Boca Juniors
21GKMariano Andújar30 July 1983 (aged 30)10Italy Catania
2DFEzequiel Garay10 October 1986 (aged 27)18Portugal Benfica
3DFHugo Campagnaro27 June 1980 (aged 33)13Italy Internazionale
4DFPablo Zabaleta16 January 1985 (aged 29)36England Manchester City
15DFMartín Demichelis20 December 1980 (aged 33)37England Manchester City
16DFMarcos Rojo20 March 1990 (aged 24)20Portugal Sporting
17DFFederico Fernández21 February 1989 (aged 25)24Italy Napoli
23DFJosé María Basanta3 April 1984 (aged 30)8Mexico Monterrey
5MFFernando Gago10 April 1986 (aged 28)47Argentina Boca Juniors
6MFLucas Biglia30 January 1986 (aged 28)16Italy Lazio
7MFÁngel di María14 February 1988 (aged 26)45Spain Real Madrid
8MFEnzo Pérez22 February 1986 (aged 28)5Portugal Benfica
11MFMaxi Rodríguez2 January 1981 (aged 33)53Argentina Newell’s Old Boys
13MFAugusto Fernández10 April 1986 (aged 28)7Spain Celta Vigo
14MFJavier Mascherano8 June 1984 (aged 30)96Spain Barcelona
19MFRicardo Álvarez12 April 1988 (aged 26)5Italy Internazionale
9FWGonzalo Higuaín10 December 1987 (aged 26)36Italy Napoli
10FWLionel Messi (c)24 June 1987 (aged 26)84Spain Barcelona
18FWRodrigo Palacio5 February 1982 (aged 32)15Italy Internazionale
20FWSergio Agüero2 June 1988 (aged 26)50England Manchester City
22FWEzequiel Lavezzi3 May 1985 (aged 29)29France Paris Saint-Germain


Mile Jedinak

This is the third consecutive appearance for Australia in the World Cup and their fourth overall, hoping to make it past the group stage unlike their appearance in South Africa and like their performance in Germany, knocked out in the round of 16. Six players arrive from the developing A-League, while team veterans like Mark Breschiano and Tim Cahill aren’t playing in Europe anymore, with no significant player having a foothold on a top European side.

18GKEugene Galeković12 June 1981 (aged 33)8Australia Adelaide United
2DFIvan Franjić10 September 1987 (aged 26)8Australia Brisbane Roar
17MFMatt McKay11 January 1983 (aged 31)46Australia Brisbane Roar
5MFMark Milligan4 August 1985 (aged 28)28Australia Melbourne Victory
9FWAdam Taggart2 June 1993 (aged 21)4Australia Newcastle Jets
6DFMatthew Špiranović27 June 1988 (aged 25)17Australia Western Sydney Wanderers
16MFJames Holland15 May 1989 (aged 25)13Austria Austria Wien
1GKMathew Ryan8 April 1992 (aged 22)6Belgium Club Brugge
19DFRyan McGowan15 August 1989 (aged 24)9China Shandong Luneng Taishan
15MFMile Jedinak (c)3 August 1984 (aged 29)43England Crystal Palace
8DFBailey Wright28 July 1992 (aged 21)0England Preston North End
21MFMassimo Luongo25 September 1992 (aged 21)1England Swindon Town
12GKMitchell Langerak22 August 1988 (aged 25)3Germany Borussia Dortmund
10MFBen Halloran14 June 1992 (aged 21)1Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf
7FWMathew Leckie4 February 1991 (aged 23)7Germany FSV Frankfurt
14MFJames Troisi3 July 1988 (aged 25)10Italy Atalanta
3DFJason Davidson29 June 1991 (aged 22)6Netherlands Heracles Almelo
11MFTommy Oar10 December 1991 (aged 22)14Netherlands Utrecht
23MFMark Bresciano11 February 1980 (aged 34)73Qatar Al-Gharafa
22DFAlex Wilkinson13 August 1984 (aged 29)2South Korea Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
13MFOliver Bozanić8 January 1989 (aged 25)3Switzerland Luzern
20MFDario Vidošić8 April 1987 (aged 27)22Switzerland Sion
4FWTim Cahill6 December 1979 (aged 34)68United States New York Red Bulls


Vinceny Kompany

Belgium come with 11 players in the Premier League and only three from the local league as many think this is the fifth or sixth best team in this tournament, and maybe even the most talented Belgian side of all time, even better than the one from the mid 1980’s, making the 1986 semifinal.

21DFAnthony Vanden Borre24 October 1987 (aged 26)25Belgium Anderlecht
23DFLaurent Ciman5 August 1985 (aged 28)8Belgium Standard Liège
13GKSammy Bossut11 August 1985 (age 28)1Belgium Zulte Waregem
3DFThomas Vermaelen14 November 1985 (aged 28)48England Arsenal
10MFEden Hazard7 January 1991 (aged 23)45England Chelsea
9FWRomelu Lukaku13 May 1993 (aged 21)29England Everton
11MFKevin Mirallas5 October 1987 (aged 26)44England Everton
12GKSimon Mignolet6 August 1988 (age 25)14England Liverpool
4DFVincent Kompany (c)10 April 1986 (aged 28)59England Manchester City
8MFMarouane Fellaini22 November 1987 (aged 26)50England Manchester United
20MFAdnan Januzaj5 February 1995 (aged 19)1England Manchester United
5DFJan Vertonghen24 April 1987 (aged 27)56England Tottenham Hotspur
19MFMousa Dembélé16 July 1987 (aged 26)55England Tottenham Hotspur
22MFNacer Chadli2 October 1989 (aged 24)20England Tottenham Hotspur
17FWDivock Origi18 April 1995 (aged 19)2France Lille
15DFDaniel Van Buyten7 February 1978 (aged 36)79Germany Bayern Munich
7MFKevin De Bruyne28 June 1991 (aged 22)22Germany VfL Wolfsburg
14FWDries Mertens6 May 1987 (aged 27)24Italy Napoli
16MFSteven Defour15 April 1988 (aged 26)43Portugal Porto
6MFAxel Witsel12 January 1989 (aged 25)48Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
18DFNicolas Lombaerts20 March 1985 (aged 29)26Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
1GKThibaut Courtois11 May 1992 (aged 22)16Spain Atlético Madrid
2DFToby Alderweireld2 March 1989 (aged 25)34Spain Atlético Madrid

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Emir Spahić

The only nation in this tournament that is making their World cup debut, Bosnia finished first in their qualifying group, ahead of Greece, coming in with a very talented strikeforce that includes Edin Dzeko and Vedad Ibisevic, while Mirlaem Pjanic and Zvjezdan Misimović are to provide leadership and creativity in the middle of the park. Not favorites, but it won’t be a surprise to see them in the round of 16.

1GKAsmir Avdukić13 May 1981 (aged 33)3Bosnia and Herzegovina Borac Banja Luka
12GKJasmin Fejzić15 May 1986 (aged 28)0Germany VfR Aalen
22GKAsmir Begović20 June 1987 (aged 26)30England Stoke City
2DFAvdija Vršajević6 March 1986 (aged 28)13Croatia Hajduk Split
3DFErmin Bičakčić24 January 1990 (aged 24)7Germany Eintracht Braunschweig
4DFEmir Spahić (c)18 August 1980 (aged 33)74Germany Bayer Leverkusen
5DFSead Kolašinac20 June 1993 (aged 20)4Germany Schalke 04
6DFOgnjen Vranješ24 October 1989 (aged 24)13Turkey Elazığspor
7DFMuhamed Bešić10 September 1992 (aged 21)9Hungary Ferencváros
13DFMensur Mujdža28 March 1984 (aged 30)24Germany SC Freiburg
15DFToni Šunjić15 December 1988 (aged 25)7Ukraine Zorya Luhansk
8MFMiralem Pjanić2 April 1990 (aged 24)48Italy Roma
10MFZvjezdan Misimović5 June 1982 (aged 32)82China Guizhou Renhe
14MFIzet Hajrović4 August 1991 (aged 22)7Turkey Galatasaray
16MFSenad Lulić18 January 1986 (aged 28)33Italy Lazio
17MFSenijad Ibričić26 September 1985 (aged 28)42Turkey Kayseri Erciyesspor
18MFHaris Medunjanin8 March 1985 (aged 29)35Turkey Gaziantepspor
20MFAnel Hadžić16 August 1989 (aged 24)2Austria Sturm Graz
21MFTino-Sven Sušić13 February 1992 (aged 22)2Croatia Hajduk Split
23MFSejad Salihović8 October 1984 (aged 29)42Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
9FWVedad Ibišević6 August 1984 (aged 29)55Germany VfB Stuttgart
11FWEdin Džeko17 March 1986 (aged 28)62England Manchester City
19FWEdin Višća17 February 1990 (aged 24)10Turkey İstanbul BB


Thiago Silva

The favorites and the hosts of the World Cup, Brazil are five time world champions, the last of those trophies coming in 2002 when Ronaldo and Rivaldo led them to the title against Germany. Since then they’ve been knocked out of the quarterfinals twice – once by France and once by the Netherlands. They’re heading in with the Confederation Cup title from last summer as a sign for their strength.

1GKJefferson2 January 1983 (aged 31)9Brazil Botafogo
2DFDani Alves6 May 1983 (aged 31)74Spain Barcelona
3DFThiago Silva (c)22 September 1984 (aged 29)45France Paris Saint-Germain
4DFDavid Luiz22 April 1987 (aged 27)35England Chelsea
5MFFernandinho4 May 1985 (aged 29)6England Manchester City
6DFMarcelo12 May 1988 (aged 26)30Spain Real Madrid
7FWHulk25 July 1986 (aged 27)34Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
8MFPaulinho25 July 1988 (aged 25)25England Tottenham Hotspur
9FWFred3 October 1983 (aged 30)33Brazil Fluminense
10FWNeymar5 February 1992 (aged 22)48Spain Barcelona
11MFOscar9 September 1991 (aged 22)30England Chelsea
12GKJúlio César3 September 1979 (aged 34)79Canada Toronto
13DFDante18 October 1983 (aged 30)12Germany Bayern Munich
14DFMaxwell27 August 1981 (aged 32)8France Paris Saint-Germain
15DFHenrique14 October 1986 (aged 27)5Italy Napoli
16MFRamires24 March 1987 (aged 27)42England Chelsea
17MFLuiz Gustavo23 July 1987 (aged 26)18Germany VfL Wolfsburg
18MFHernanes29 May 1985 (aged 29)24Italy Internazionale
19MFWillian9 August 1988 (aged 25)6England Chelsea
20MFBernard8 September 1992 (aged 21)10Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk
21FW20 March 1987 (aged 27)16Brazil Atlético Mineiro
22GKVictor21 January 1983 (aged 31)6Brazil Atlético Mineiro
23DFMaicon26 July 1981 (aged 32)71Italy Roma


Samuel Eto'o

Cameroon are in the World Cup for a seventh time (second straight), more than any African nation. They’ve made it out of the group stage only once, in 1990, when they reached the quarterfinals before losing to England in extra time. Samuel Eto’o of Chelsea is the best known player on this side, boasting players from France and Turkey mostly, with only two players coming from the local league.

19FWFabrice Olinga12 May 1996 (aged 18)7Belgium Zulte Waregem
1GKLoïc Feudjou14 April 1992 (aged 22)1Cameroon Coton Sport
4DFCédric Djeugoué28 August 1992 (aged 21)3Cameroon Coton Sport
9FWSamuel Eto’o (c)10 March 1981 (aged 33)116England Chelsea
2DFBenoît Assou-Ekotto24 March 1984 (aged 30)21England Tottenham Hotspur
7MFLandry N’Guémo28 November 1985 (aged 28)39France Bordeaux
20MFEdgar Salli17 August 1992 (aged 21)8France Lens
10FWVincent Aboubakar22 January 1992 (aged 22)23France Lorient
12DFHenri Bedimo4 June 1984 (aged 30)30France Lyon
3DFNicolas N’Koulou27 March 1990 (aged 24)47France Marseille
8FWBenjamin Moukandjo12 November 1988 (aged 25)16France Nancy
11MFJean Makoun29 May 1983 (aged 31)66France Rennes
13FWMaxim Choupo-Moting23 March 1989 (aged 25)26Germany Mainz 05
21MFJoël Matip8 August 1991 (aged 22)22Germany Schalke 04
6MFAlex Song9 September 1987 (aged 26)46Spain Barcelona
22DFAllan Nyom10 May 1988 (aged 26)8Spain Granada
17MFStéphane Mbia20 May 1986 (aged 28)49Spain Sevilla
18MFEyong Enoh23 March 1986 (aged 28)37Turkey Antalyaspor
5DFDany Nounkeu11 April 1986 (aged 28)15Turkey Beşiktaş
15FWPierre Webó20 January 1982 (aged 32)55Turkey Fenerbahçe
23GKSammy N’Djock25 February 1990 (aged 24)2Turkey Fethiyespor
14DFAurélien Chedjou20 June 1985 (aged 28)30Turkey Galatasaray
16GKCharles Itandje2 November 1982 (aged 31)9Turkey Konyaspor


Claudio Bravo

One of the dark horse candidates to cause some trouble for “bigger” nations, Chile are in the World Cup for a ninth time, hoping to at least repeat their achievement from last time when they made the round of 16. Eight of the team’s players are coming from either Brazil or the league in Chile, but there are also stars like Arturo Vidal who plays for Juventus and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona who make this side the best Chile have had since the 1998 team.

20MFCharles Aránguiz17 April 1989 (aged 25)20Brazil Internacional
10MFJorge Valdívia3 October 1983 (aged 30)56Brazil Palmeiras
2DFEugenio Mena18 July 1988 (aged 25)24Brazil Santos
19MFJosé Pedro Fuenzalida22 February 1985 (aged 29)23Chile Colo-Colo
22FWEsteban Paredes1 August 1980 (aged 33)34Chile Colo-Colo
12GKCristopher Toselli22 June 1988 (aged 25)4Chile Universidad Católica
13DFJosé Rojas3 June 1983 (aged 31)18Chile Universidad de Chile
23GKJohnny Herrera9 May 1981 (aged 33)7Chile Universidad de Chile
18DFGonzalo Jara29 August 1985 (aged 28)65England Nottingham Forest
15MFJean Beausejour3 June 1984 (aged 30)59England Wigan Athletic
6MFCarlos Carmona21 February 1987 (aged 27)43Italy Atalanta
9FWMauricio Pinilla4 February 1984 (aged 30)26Italy Cagliari
4MFMauricio Isla12 June 1988 (aged 26)46Italy Juventus
8MFArturo Vidal22 May 1987 (aged 27)53Italy Juventus
16MFFelipe Gutiérrez8 October 1990 (aged 23)17Netherlands Twente
7FWAlexis Sánchez19 December 1988 (aged 25)66Spain Barcelona
14MFFabián Orellana27 January 1986 (aged 28)25Spain Celta Vigo
5MFFrancisco Silva11 February 1986 (aged 28)11Spain Osasuna
1GKClaudio Bravo (c)13 April 1983 (aged 31)79Spain Real Sociedad
11FWEduardo Vargas20 November 1989 (aged 24)29Spain Valencia
3DFMiiko Albornoz3 November 1990 (aged 23)2Sweden Malmö
21MFMarcelo Díaz30 December 1986 (aged 27)20Switzerland Basel
17DFGary Medel3 August 1987 (aged 26)60Wales Cardiff City


Mario Yepes

Suddenly, without Falcao, this side doesn’t seem that impressive. Colombia are in the World Cup for the first time since 1998, coming in with plenty of talented strikers like Carlos Bacca and Jackson Martinez and also some considerable midfield talent with the likes of James Rodriguez, Quintero and Fredy Guarin. However, the expectations are undoubtedly lower now that their biggest star isn’t playing.

1GKDavid Ospina31 August 1988 (aged 25)42France Nice
12GKCamilo Vargas1 September 1989 (aged 24)0Colombia Santa Fe
22GKFaryd Mondragón21 June 1971 (aged 42)55Colombia Deportivo Cali
2DFCristián Zapata30 September 1986 (aged 27)21Italy Milan
3DFMario Yepes (c)13 January 1976 (aged 38)96Italy Atalanta
4DFSantiago Arias13 January 1992 (aged 22)5Netherlands PSV
7DFPablo Armero2 November 1986 (aged 27)51England West Ham United
16DFÉder Álvarez Balanta28 February 1993 (aged 21)2Argentina River Plate
18DFJuan Camilo Zúñiga14 December 1985 (aged 28)52Italy Napoli
23DFCarlos Valdés22 May 1985 (aged 29)13Argentina San Lorenzo
5MFAldo Leão Ramírez18 April 1981 (aged 33)29Mexico Morelia
6MFCarlos Sánchez6 February 1986 (aged 28)44Spain Elche
8MFAbel Aguilar6 January 1985 (aged 29)48France Toulouse
10MFJames Rodríguez12 July 1991 (aged 22)21Monaco Monaco
11MFJuan Guillermo Cuadrado26 May 1988 (aged 26)26Italy Fiorentina
13MFFredy Guarín30 June 1986 (aged 27)48Italy Internazionale
14MFVíctor Ibarbo19 May 1990 (aged 24)8Italy Cagliari
15MFAlexander Mejía7 September 1988 (aged 25)9Colombia Atlético Nacional
20MFJuan Fernando Quintero18 January 1993 (aged 21)4Portugal Porto
9FWTeófilo Gutiérrez28 May 1985 (aged 29)29Argentina River Plate
17FWCarlos Bacca8 September 1986 (aged 27)10Spain Sevilla
19FWAdrián Ramos22 January 1986 (aged 28)24Germany Hertha Berlin
21FWJackson Martínez3 October 1986 (aged 27)27Portugal Porto

Costa Rica

Bryan Ruiz

Costa Rica are in the World Cup for a fourth time, hoping that this is 1990 all over again when they made the round of 16. They’re in a very tough group (England, Italy, Uruguay) and will rely mostly on the talent of Bryan Ruiz of PSV and Joel Campbell of Olympiakos / Arsenal to try and cause a huge surprise in a tournament no one expects anything from them despite their excellent qualifying campaign.

6DFÓscar Duarte3 June 1989 (aged 25)10Belgium Club Brugge
2DFJohnny Acosta21 July 1983 (aged 30)25Costa Rica Alajuelense
18GKPatrick Pemberton24 April 1982 (aged 32)20Costa Rica Alajuelense
14FWRandall Brenes13 August 1983 (aged 30)38Costa Rica Cartaginés
13MFEsteban Granados25 October 1985 (aged 28)11Costa Rica Herediano
22MFJosé Miguel Cubero14 February 1987 (aged 27)34Costa Rica Herediano
23GKDaniel Cambronero8 January 1986 (aged 28)4Costa Rica Herediano
4DFMichael Umaña16 July 1982 (aged 31)82Costa Rica Saprissa
8DFHeiner Mora20 June 1984 (aged 29)21Costa Rica Saprissa
17MFYeltsin Tejeda17 March 1992 (aged 22)22Costa Rica Saprissa
7MFChristian Bolaños17 May 1984 (aged 30)54Denmark Copenhagen
15DFJúnior Díaz12 September 1983 (aged 30)61Germany Mainz 05
9FWJoel Campbell26 June 1992 (aged 21)32Greece Olympiacos
10FWBryan Ruiz (c)18 August 1985 (aged 28)62Netherlands PSV
11MFMichael Barrantes4 October 1983 (aged 30)50Norway Aalesund
16DFCristian Gamboa24 October 1989 (aged 24)25Norway Rosenborg
20MFDiego Calvo25 March 1991 (aged 23)9Norway Vålerenga
21FWMarco Ureña5 March 1990 (aged 24)23Russia Kuban Krasnodar
1GKKeylor Navas15 December 1986 (aged 27)52Spain Levante
5MFCelso Borges27 May 1988 (aged 26)62Sweden AIK
3DFGiancarlo González8 February 1988 (aged 26)34United States Columbus Crew
12DFWaylon Francis20 September 1990 (aged 23)1United States Columbus Crew
19DFRoy Miller24 November 1984 (aged 29)48United States New York Red Bulls


Darijo Srna

Croatia are in the World Cup for a fourth time, missing out on the competition only once since the break up from Yugoslavia. Their greatest success came in 1998 when they made it to the semifinals and finished in third place, but in the two appearances that followed they didn’t make it out of the group stage. Luka Modric from Real Madrid and Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich are the biggest stars on the current squad.

14MFMarcelo Brozović16 October 1992 (aged 21)0Croatia Dinamo Zagreb
12GKOliver Zelenika14 May 1993 (aged 21)0Croatia Lokomotiva
15MFIvan Močinić30 April 1993 (aged 21)0Croatia Rijeka
9FWNikica Jelavić27 August 1985 (aged 28)33England Hull City
6DFDejan Lovren5 July 1989 (aged 24)23England Southampton
17FWMario Mandžukić21 May 1986 (aged 28)49Germany Bayern Munich
4MFIvan Perišić2 February 1989 (aged 25)28Germany VfL Wolfsburg
18FWIvica Olić14 September 1979 (aged 34)91Germany VfL Wolfsburg
3DFDanijel Pranjić2 December 1981 (aged 32)48Greece Panathinaikos
13DFGordon Schildenfeld18 March 1985 (aged 29)21Greece Panathinaikos
16FWAnte Rebić21 September 1993 (aged 20)4Italy Fiorentina
2DFŠime Vrsaljko10 January 1992 (aged 22)6Italy Genoa
20MFMateo Kovačić6 May 1994 (aged 20)9Italy Internazionale
23GKDanijel Subašić27 October 1984 (aged 29)6Monaco Monaco
5DFVedran Ćorluka5 February 1986 (aged 28)72Russia Lokomotiv Moscow
1GKStipe Pletikosa8 January 1979 (aged 35)110Russia Rostov
19MFSammir23 April 1987 (aged 27)5Spain Getafe
10MFLuka Modrić9 September 1985 (aged 28)74Spain Real Madrid
7MFIvan Rakitić10 March 1988 (aged 26)61Spain Sevilla
8MFOgnjen Vukojević20 December 1983 (aged 30)55Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv
21DFDomagoj Vida29 April 1989 (aged 25)23Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv
11DFDarijo Srna (c)1 May 1982 (aged 32)112Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk
22FWEduardo25 February 1983 (aged 31)63Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk


Antonio Valencia

The less heralded of the South American sides in the competition, but always a very tough team to beat, even without their advantage of playing in Quito. There isn’t a lot of talent here – only four players are on European clubs, with Antonio Valencia of Manchester United (not for long?) being the biggest name, although players like Felipe Caicedo and Jefferson Montero can make quite a name for themselves.

3DFFrickson Erazo5 May 1988 (aged 26)36Brazil Flamengo
8MFÉdison Méndez15 March 1979 (aged 35)109Colombia Santa Fe
1GKMáximo Banguera16 December 1985 (aged 28)24Ecuador Barcelona
4DFJuan Carlos Paredes8 July 1987 (aged 26)37Ecuador Barcelona
19MFLuis Saritama20 October 1983 (aged 30)48Ecuador Barcelona
12GKAdrián Bone8 September 1988 (aged 25)3Ecuador El Nacional
2DFJorge Guagua28 September 1981 (aged 32)58Ecuador Emelec
18DFÓscar Bagüí10 December 1982 (aged 31)21Ecuador Emelec
21DFGabriel Achilier24 March 1985 (aged 29)22Ecuador Emelec
22GKAlexander Domínguez5 June 1987 (aged 27)18Ecuador LDU Quito
16MFAntonio Valencia (c)4 August 1985 (aged 28)70England Manchester United
23MFCarlos Gruezo19 April 1995 (aged 19)2Germany VfB Stuttgart
15MFMichael Arroyo23 April 1987 (aged 27)20Mexico Atlante
9MFJoao Rojas14 June 1989 (aged 24)29Mexico Cruz Azul
7MFJefferson Montero1 September 1989 (aged 24)39Mexico Morelia
10DFWalter Ayoví11 August 1979 (aged 34)89Mexico Pachuca
13FWEnner Valencia11 April 1989 (aged 25)9Mexico Pachuca
17FWJaime Ayoví21 February 1988 (aged 26)30Mexico Tijuana
20MFFidel Martínez15 February 1990 (aged 24)8Mexico Tijuana
5MFRenato Ibarra20 January 1991 (aged 23)17Netherlands Vitesse
6MFChristian Noboa9 April 1985 (aged 29)41Russia Dynamo Moscow
14MFSegundo Castillo15 May 1982 (aged 32)81Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
11FWFelipe Caicedo5 September 1988 (aged 25)49United Arab Emirates Al-Jazira


Steven Gerrard

It’s hard to remember when England reached a World Cup tournament with so little expectations. No one thinks Roy Hodgson is a good manager, the group is very difficult (with Italy and Uruguay) and for the face time, no one thinks they have the required talent to make it very far or even past the group stage. Maybe this minimal hype will help them have their best tournament in a very long time.

1GKJoe Hart19 May 1987 (aged 27)40England Manchester City
2DFGlen Johnson23 August 1984 (aged 29)51England Liverpool
3DFLeighton Baines11 December 1984 (aged 29)23England Everton
4MFSteven Gerrard (c)30 May 1980 (aged 34)110England Liverpool
5DFGary Cahill19 December 1985 (aged 28)23England Chelsea
6DFPhil Jagielka17 August 1982 (aged 31)25England Everton
7MFJack Wilshere1 January 1992 (aged 22)16England Arsenal
8MFFrank Lampard20 June 1978 (aged 35)103England Chelsea
9FWDaniel Sturridge1 September 1989 (aged 24)11England Liverpool
10FWWayne Rooney24 October 1985 (aged 28)90England Manchester United
11FWDanny Welbeck26 November 1990 (aged 23)22England Manchester United
12DFChris Smalling22 November 1989 (aged 24)11England Manchester United
13GKBen Foster3 May 1983 (aged 31)6England West Bromwich Albion
14MFJordan Henderson17 June 1990 (aged 23)9England Liverpool
15MFAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain15 August 1993 (aged 20)14England Arsenal
16DFPhil Jones21 February 1992 (aged 22)9England Manchester United
17MFJames Milner4 January 1986 (aged 28)46England Manchester City
18FWRickie Lambert16 February 1982 (aged 32)4England Southampton
19MFRaheem Sterling8 December 1994 (aged 19)3England Liverpool
20MFAdam Lallana10 May 1988 (aged 26)4England Southampton
21MFRoss Barkley5 December 1993 (aged 20)4England Everton
22GKFraser Forster17 March 1988 (aged 26)1Scotland Celtic
23DFLuke Shaw12 July 1995 (aged 18)1England Southampton


Hugo Lloris

Talent? Plenty of it. But if Franck Ribery isn’t playing, it’s hard to think of one really big star this side has that can carry them far away in the tournament. Everything is good or even very good, all across the board, from defense to attack. But brilliance? World Class? Maybe Paul Pogba who has plenty of potential, but no one really stands out when you take a broader look at everyone in the tournament.

1GKHugo Lloris (c)26 December 1986 (aged 27)56England Tottenham Hotspur
2DFMathieu Debuchy28 July 1985 (aged 28)20England Newcastle United
3DFPatrice Evra15 May 1981 (aged 33)57England Manchester United
4DFRaphaël Varane25 April 1993 (aged 21)5Spain Real Madrid
5DFMamadou Sakho13 February 1990 (aged 24)18England Liverpool
6MFYohan Cabaye14 January 1986 (aged 28)29France Paris Saint-Germain
7MFFranck Ribéry7 April 1983 (aged 31)81Germany Bayern Munich
8MFMathieu Valbuena28 September 1984 (aged 29)33France Marseille
9FWOlivier Giroud30 September 1986 (aged 27)29England Arsenal
10FWKarim Benzema19 December 1987 (aged 26)65Spain Real Madrid
11MFAntoine Griezmann21 March 1991 (aged 23)3Spain Real Sociedad
12MFRio Mavuba8 March 1984 (aged 30)11France Lille
13DFEliaquim Mangala13 February 1991 (aged 23)3Portugal Porto
14MFBlaise Matuidi9 April 1987 (aged 27)22France Paris Saint-Germain
15DFBacary Sagna14 February 1983 (aged 31)40England Arsenal
16GKStéphane Ruffier[33]27 September 1986 (age 27)2France Saint-Étienne
17DFLucas Digne20 July 1993 (aged 20)2France Paris Saint-Germain
18MFMoussa Sissoko16 August 1989 (aged 24)16England Newcastle United
19MFPaul Pogba15 March 1993 (aged 21)10Italy Juventus
20FWLoïc Rémy2 January 1987 (aged 27)24England Newcastle United
21DFLaurent Koscielny10 September 1985 (aged 28)17England Arsenal
22MFClément Grenier7 January 1991 (aged 23)5France Lyon
23GKMickaël Landreau14 May 1979 (aged 35)11France Bastia


Philipp Lahm

On paper, this is the most talented team going into the tournament. However, we’ve seen four times over the last four major competitions that talent and potential don’t always come together, and injuries to key players they’re trying to shake off, or taking just one natural striker to the tournament in potential record breaker Miroslav Klose might become more than just a slight problem.

1GKManuel Neuer27 March 1986 (aged 28)45Germany Bayern Munich
2DFKevin Großkreutz19 July 1988 (aged 25)4Germany Borussia Dortmund
3MFMatthias Ginter19 January 1994 (aged 20)2Germany SC Freiburg
4DFBenedikt Höwedes29 February 1988 (aged 26)20Germany Schalke 04
5DFMats Hummels16 December 1988 (aged 25)29Germany Borussia Dortmund
6MFSami Khedira4 April 1987 (aged 27)45Spain Real Madrid
7MFBastian Schweinsteiger1 August 1984 (aged 29)101Germany Bayern Munich
8MFMesut Özil15 October 1988 (aged 25)54England Arsenal
9MFAndré Schürrle6 November 1990 (aged 23)32England Chelsea
10FWLukas Podolski4 June 1985 (aged 29)113England Arsenal
11FWMiroslav Klose9 June 1978 (aged 36)131Italy Lazio
12GKRon-Robert Zieler12 February 1989 (aged 25)3Germany Hannover 96
13MFThomas Müller13 September 1989 (aged 24)48Germany Bayern Munich
14MFJulian Draxler20 September 1993 (aged 20)11Germany Schalke 04
15DFErik Durm12 May 1992 (aged 22)1Germany Borussia Dortmund
16DFPhilipp Lahm (c)11 November 1983 (aged 30)105Germany Bayern Munich
17DFPer Mertesacker29 September 1984 (aged 29)97England Arsenal
18MFToni Kroos4 January 1990 (aged 24)43Germany Bayern Munich
19MFMario Götze3 June 1992 (aged 22)28Germany Bayern Munich
20DFJérôme Boateng3 September 1988 (aged 25)38Germany Bayern Munich
21MFMarco Reus31 May 1989 (aged 25)20Germany Borussia Dortmund
22GKRoman Weidenfeller6 August 1980 (aged 33)2Germany Borussia Dortmund
23MFChristoph Kramer12 February 1991 (aged 23)2Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach


Asamoah Gyan

Another young Ghanaian squad is in the same group with Germany. They were a penalty kick away from becoming the first African side to reach the World Cup semifinal four years ago. Very talented, very athletic and with a Ghanaian coach, James Kwesi Appiah, they’re hoping that the disappointing finish to their African Championship will be a platform to create success this time.

DFDaniel Opare18 October 1990 (aged 23)16Belgium Standard Liège
MFAlbert Adomah13 December 1987 (aged 26)14England Middlesbrough
MFAndré Ayew17 December 1989 (aged 24)48France Marseille
DFJohn Boye23 April 1987 (aged 27)29France Rennes
FWJordan Ayew11 September 1991 (aged 22)12France Sochaux
FWMajeed Waris19 September 1991 (aged 22)9France Valenciennes
DFJonathan Mensah13 July 1990 (aged 23)26France Évian
FWKevin-Prince Boateng6 March 1987 (aged 27)12Germany Schalke 04
GKSteven Adams28 September 1989 (aged 24)7Ghana Aduana Stars
DFSamuel Inkoom1 June 1989 (aged 25)46Greece Platanias
MFKwadwo Asamoah9 December 1988 (aged 25)61Italy Juventus
MFSulley Muntari27 August 1984 (aged 29)81Italy Milan
MFMichael Essien3 December 1982 (aged 31)57Italy Milan
MFAfriyie Acquah5 January 1992 (aged 22)4Italy Parma
MFEmmanuel Agyemang-Badu2 December 1990 (aged 23)48Italy Udinese
MFChristian Atsu10 January 1992 (aged 22)22Netherlands Vitesse
GKAdam Kwarasey12 December 1987 (aged 26)21Norway Strømsgodset
MFMohammed Rabiu31 December 1989 (aged 24)16Russia Kuban Krasnodar
MFWakaso Mubarak25 July 1990 (aged 23)16Russia Rubin Kazan
DFRashid Sumaila18 December 1992 (aged 21)6South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns
GKFatau Dauda6 April 1985 (aged 29)17South Africa Orlando Pirates
DFHarrison Afful24 June 1986 (aged 27)40Tunisia Espérance
FWAsamoah Gyan (c)22 November 1985 (aged 28)78United Arab Emirates Al-Ain


Giorgos Karagounis

Still with us, with the same kind of unattractive, relentless and mostly defensive football. No longer European champions or anywhere near that quality, but Greece are in the World Cup for a second consecutive time and considering their group, it’s going to be impossible to count them out of qualifying to the round of 16 for the first time ever, although relying on players like Katsouranis and Karagounis seems to be relying too much on age and experience instead of talent.

1GKOrestis Karnezis11 July 1985 (aged 28)18Spain Granada
2DFGiannis Maniatis12 October 1986 (aged 27)29Greece Olympiacos
3DFGiorgos Tzavellas26 November 1987 (aged 26)13Greece PAOK
4DFKostas Manolas14 June 1991 (aged 22)8Greece Olympiacos
5DFVangelis Moras26 August 1981 (aged 32)18Italy Verona
6MFAlexandros Tziolis13 February 1985 (aged 29)49Turkey Kayserispor
7FWGiorgos Samaras21 February 1985 (aged 29)73Scotland Celtic
8MFPanagiotis Kone26 July 1987 (aged 26)15Italy Bologna
9FWKostas Mitroglou12 March 1988 (aged 26)31England Fulham
10MFGiorgos Karagounis (c)6 March 1977 (aged 37)134England Fulham
11DFLoukas Vyntra5 February 1981 (aged 33)49Spain Levante
12GKPanagiotis Glykos3 June 1986 (aged 28)2Greece PAOK
13GKStefanos Kapino18 March 1994 (aged 20)2Greece Panathinaikos
14FWDimitris Salpingidis18 August 1981 (aged 32)75Greece PAOK
15DFVasilis Torosidis10 June 1985 (aged 29)65Italy Roma
16MFLazaros Christodoulopoulos19 December 1986 (aged 27)18Italy Bologna
17FWTheofanis Gekas23 May 1980 (aged 34)71Turkey Konyaspor
18MFGiannis Fetfatzidis21 December 1990 (aged 23)18Italy Genoa
19DFSokratis Papastathopoulos9 June 1988 (aged 26)47Germany Borussia Dortmund
20DFJosé Holebas27 June 1984 (aged 29)21Greece Olympiacos
21MFKostas Katsouranis21 June 1979 (aged 34)110Greece PAOK
22MFAndreas Samaris13 June 1989 (aged 24)4Greece Olympiacos
23MFPanagiotis Tachtsidis15 February 1991 (aged 23)5Italy Torino


Noel Valladares

Few teams arrive with such an unimpressive squad, based on players from the Honduran league and the MLS, with four players also coming from the Premier League and Championship. No big stars, not a lot of creativity, and not a lot of great football expected to be shown. Look out for Jerry Bengston of New England and Carlo Costly who plays for Real Espana to possibly surprise some people.

21MFAndy Najar16 March 1993 (aged 21)16Belgium Anderlecht
23DFBrayan Beckeles28 November 1985 (aged 28)22Honduras Olimpia
13FWCarlo Costly18 July 1982 (aged 31)69Honduras Real España
22GKDonis Escober3 February 1980 (aged 34)26Honduras Olimpia
12MFEdder Delgado[35]November 20, 1986 (aged 27)25Honduras Real España
7DFEmilio Izaguirre10 May 1986 (aged 28)67Scotland Celtic
11FWJerry Bengtson8 April 1987 (aged 27)43United States New England Revolution
9FWJerry Palacios1 November 1981 (aged 32)23Costa Rica Alajuelense
20MFJorge Claros8 January 1986 (aged 28)48Honduras Motagua
6DFJuan Carlos García8 March 1988 (aged 26)33England Wigan Athletic
4DFJuan Pablo Montes26 October 1985 (aged 28)11Honduras Motagua
19MFLuis Garrido5 November 1990 (aged 23)19Honduras Olimpia
1GKLuis López13 September 1993 (aged 20)0Honduras Real España
10MFMario Martínez30 July 1989 (aged 24)35Honduras Real España
17MFMarvin Chávez3 November 1983 (aged 30)41United States Chivas USA
3DFMaynor Figueroa2 May 1983 (aged 31)104England Hull City
18GKNoel Valladares (c)3 May 1977 (aged 37)121Honduras Olimpia
2DFOsman Chávez29 July 1984 (aged 29)54China Qingdao Jonoon
15MFRoger Espinoza25 October 1986 (aged 27)41England Wigan Athletic
16FWRony Martínez16 October 1988 (aged 25)12Honduras Real Sociedad
5DFVíctor Bernárdez24 May 1982 (aged 32)77United States San Jose Earthquakes
8MFWilson Palacios29 July 1984 (aged 29)94England Stoke City
14MFÓscar García4 September 1984 (aged 29)92United States Houston Dynamo


Javad Nekounam

Iran rely on players that mostly come from the local league, but Ashkan Dejagah of Fulham and Steven Beitashour who plays for Vancouver are expected to bring a bit more into this squad, although the big star is their captain and top scorer from the qualifiers, Javad Nekounam, who plays for Al-Kuwait.

20DFSteven Beitashour1 February 1987 (aged 27)6Canada Vancouver Whitecaps
16FWReza Ghoochannejhad20 September 1987 (aged 26)13England Charlton Athletic
21MFAshkan Dejagah5 July 1986 (aged 27)13England Fulham
22GKDaniel Davari6 January 1988 (aged 26)4Germany Eintracht Braunschweig
2MFKhosro Heydari14 September 1983 (aged 30)48Iran Esteghlal
5DFAmir Hossein Sadeghi6 September 1981 (aged 32)16Iran Esteghlal
14MFAndranik Teymourian6 March 1983 (aged 31)78Iran Esteghlal
19DFHashem Beikzadeh22 January 1984 (aged 30)17Iran Esteghlal
18MFBakhtiar Rahmani23 September 1991 (aged 22)4Iran Foolad
17DFAhmad Alenemeh10 October 1982 (aged 31)9Iran Naft Tehran
4DFJalal Hosseini3 February 1982 (aged 32)84Iran Persepolis
8MFReza Haghighi1 February 1989 (aged 25)7Iran Persepolis
13DFHossein Mahini16 September 1986 (aged 27)21Iran Persepolis
23DFMehrdad Pouladi26 February 1987 (aged 27)19Iran Persepolis
1GKRahman Ahmadi30 July 1980 (aged 33)10Iran Sepahan
3MFEhsan Hajsafi25 February 1990 (aged 24)61Iran Sepahan
10FWKarim Ansarifard3 April 1990 (aged 24)41Iran Tractor Sazi
11MFGhasem Haddadifar12 July 1983 (aged 30)16Iran Zob Ahan
6MFJavad Nekounam (c)7 October 1980 (aged 33)139Kuwait Al-Kuwait
9FWAlireza Jahanbakhsh11 August 1993 (aged 20)6Netherlands NEC
12GKAlireza Haghighi2 May 1988 (aged 26)5Portugal Sporting Covilhã
15DFPejman Montazeri6 September 1983 (aged 30)21Qatar Umm Salal
7MFMasoud Shojaei9 June 1984 (aged 30)49Spain Las Palmas


Ginaluigi Buffon

A team you can’t really tell what’s going to happen with them. Gianluigi Buffon leads a defense relying on the strengths of the Italian champions, Juventus, and some remenants from the side that won the 2006 World Cup with an impressive defensive display. Andrea Pirlo has a lot riding on his talent and set piece ability, while many are hoping for the talents of Mario Balotelli to last for more than just one match.

1GKGianluigi Buffon (c)28 January 1978 (aged 36)139Italy Juventus
2DFMattia De Sciglio20 October 1992 (aged 21)10Italy Milan
3DFGiorgio Chiellini14 August 1984 (aged 29)67Italy Juventus
4DFMatteo Darmian2 December 1989 (aged 24)1Italy Torino
5MFThiago Motta28 August 1982 (aged 31)20France Paris Saint-Germain
6MFAntonio Candreva28 February 1987 (aged 27)19Italy Lazio
7DFIgnazio Abate12 November 1986 (aged 27)19Italy Milan
8MFClaudio Marchisio19 January 1986 (aged 28)43Italy Juventus
9FWMario Balotelli12 August 1990 (aged 23)29Italy Milan
10FWAntonio Cassano12 July 1982 (aged 31)36Italy Parma
11FWAlessio Cerci23 July 1987 (aged 26)11Italy Torino
12GKSalvatore Sirigu12 January 1987 (aged 27)8France Paris Saint-Germain
13GKMattia Perin10 November 1992 (aged 21)0Italy Genoa
14MFAlberto Aquilani7 July 1984 (aged 29)34Italy Fiorentina
15DFAndrea Barzagli8 May 1981 (aged 33)47Italy Juventus
16MFDaniele De Rossi24 July 1983 (aged 30)94Italy Roma
17FWCiro Immobile20 February 1990 (aged 24)2Italy Torino
18MFMarco Parolo25 January 1985 (aged 29)3Italy Parma
19DFLeonardo Bonucci1 May 1987 (aged 27)36Italy Juventus
20DFGabriel Paletta15 February 1986 (aged 28)2Italy Parma
21MFAndrea Pirlo19 May 1979 (aged 35)108Italy Juventus
22FWLorenzo Insigne4 June 1991 (aged 23)4Italy Napoli
23MFMarco Verratti5 November 1992 (aged 21)5France Paris Saint-Germain

Ivory Coast

Didier Drogba

The last two World Cups were cruel to the Ivory Coast, twice finding themselves in the group of death despite being considered the best African side. Things have changed, and they do have an easier group to deal with this time, but also less talent than before. Yaya Toure is one of the best midfielders in the world, but Didier Drogba is nowhere near the player he once was, although Wilfried Bony might provide considerable firepower next to him.

GKBoubacar Barry30 December 1979 (aged 34)79Belgium Lokeren
GKSayouba Mandé5 June 1993 (aged 21)1Norway Stabæk
GKSylvain Gbohouo29 October 1988 (aged 25)1Ivory Coast Séwé Sport
DFArthur Boka2 April 1983 (aged 31)79Germany VfB Stuttgart
DFConstant Djakpa17 October 1986 (aged 27)4Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
DFDidier Zokora14 December 1980 (aged 33)119Turkey Trabzonspor
DFJean-Daniel Akpa-Akpro11 October 1992 (aged 21)1France Toulouse
DFKolo Touré19 March 1981 (aged 33)106England Liverpool
DFOusmane Viera21 December 1986 (aged 27)3Turkey Çaykur Rizespor
DFSerge Aurier24 December 1992 (aged 21)8France Toulouse
DFSol Bamba13 January 1985 (aged 29)43Turkey Trabzonspor
MFCheick Tioté21 June 1986 (aged 27)44England Newcastle United
MFDidier Ya Konan25 February 1984 (aged 30)25Germany Hannover 96
MFIsmaël Diomandé28 August 1992 (aged 21)1France Saint-Étienne
MFSerey Die7 November 1984 (aged 29)6Switzerland Basel
MFYaya Touré13 May 1983 (aged 31)83England Manchester City
FWDidier Drogba (c)11 March 1978 (aged 36)100Turkey Galatasaray
FWGervinho27 May 1987 (aged 27)53Italy Roma
FWGiovanni Sio31 March 1989 (aged 25)7Switzerland Basel
FWMathis Bolly14 November 1990 (aged 23)3Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf
FWMax Gradel30 November 1987 (aged 26)25France Saint-Étienne
FWSalomon Kalou5 August 1985 (aged 28)64France Lille
FWWilfried Bony10 December 1988 (aged 25)24Wales Swansea City


Makoto Hasebe

Japan find themselves in an unlikely situation: Possible favorites to come out of their group as the number one team. They are in their fifth consecutive World Cup appearance, hoping to make it out of the group stage for a third time, relying on Shinji Kagawa, Keisuke Honda and Yuto Nagatomo, playing on opposite sides of the Milan derby, to provide the extra quality a disciplined and energetic squad needs to finish among the top two.

1GKEiji Kawashima20 March 1983 (aged 31)56Belgium Standard Liège
10MFShinji Kagawa17 March 1989 (aged 25)56England Manchester United
22DFMaya Yoshida24 August 1988 (aged 25)40England Southampton
8MFHiroshi Kiyotake12 November 1989 (aged 24)25Germany 1. FC Nürnberg
17MFMakoto Hasebe (c)18 January 1984 (aged 30)78Germany 1. FC Nürnberg
18FWYuya Osako18 May 1990 (aged 24)8Germany 1860 München
21DFHiroki Sakai12 April 1990 (aged 24)17Germany Hannover 96
9FWShinji Okazaki16 April 1986 (aged 28)75Germany Mainz 05
2DFAtsuto Uchida27 March 1988 (aged 26)67Germany Schalke 04
3DFGōtoku Sakai14 February 1991 (aged 23)12Germany VfB Stuttgart
5DFYuto Nagatomo12 September 1986 (aged 27)69Italy Internazionale
4MFKeisuke Honda13 June 1986 (aged 27)55Italy Milan
11FWYoichiro Kakitani3 January 1990 (aged 24)11Japan Cerezo Osaka
16MFHotaru Yamaguchi6 October 1990 (aged 23)11Japan Cerezo Osaka
6DFMasato Morishige21 May 1987 (aged 27)9Japan F.C. Tokyo
23GKShūichi Gonda3 March 1989 (aged 25)2Japan F.C. Tokyo
7MFYasuhito Endō28 January 1980 (aged 34)143Japan Gamba Osaka
15DFYasuyuki Konno25 January 1983 (aged 31)80Japan Gamba Osaka
19DFMasahiko Inoha28 August 1983 (aged 30)21Japan Jubilo Iwata
13FWYoshito Ōkubo9 June 1982 (aged 32)56Japan Kawasaki Frontale
14MFToshihiro Aoyama22 February 1986 (aged 28)5Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima
12GKShusaku Nishikawa18 June 1986 (aged 27)12Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
20FWManabu Saitō4 April 1990 (aged 24)4Japan Yokohama F. Marinos


Rafa Marquez

The Mexican team barely made it into the competition, but expectations are always high when it comes to El Tri, making it past the group stage but losing in the round of 16 in all of the last five tournaments they’ve been to. Overall this is the 15th World Cup for Mexico, with their best achievement being the quarterfinals, twice making it to the last eight when they hosted the tournament in 1970 and 1986.

1GKJosé de Jesús Corona26 January 1981 (aged 33)33Mexico Cruz Azul
2DFFrancisco Javier Rodríguez20 October 1981 (aged 32)94Mexico América
3DFCarlos Salcido2 April 1980 (aged 34)122Mexico UANL
4DFRafael Márquez (c)13 February 1979 (aged 35)119Mexico León
5DFDiego Reyes19 September 1992 (aged 21)14Portugal Porto
6MFHéctor Herrera19 April 1990 (aged 24)12Portugal Porto
7DFMiguel Layún25 June 1988 (aged 25)14Mexico América
8MFMarco Fabián21 July 1989 (aged 24)14Mexico Cruz Azul
9FWRaúl Jiménez5 May 1991 (aged 23)25Mexico América
10FWGiovani dos Santos11 May 1989 (aged 25)75Spain Villarreal
11FWAlan Pulido8 March 1991 (aged 23)5Mexico UANL
12GKAlfredo Talavera18 September 1982 (aged 31)14Mexico Toluca
13GKGuillermo Ochoa13 July 1985 (aged 28)58France Ajaccio
14FWJavier Hernández1 June 1988 (aged 26)61England Manchester United
15DFHéctor Moreno17 January 1988 (aged 26)52Spain Espanyol
16DFMiguel Ángel Ponce12 April 1989 (aged 25)8Mexico Toluca
17MFIsaác Brizuela28 August 1990 (aged 23)7Mexico Toluca
18DFAndrés Guardado28 September 1986 (aged 27)103Germany Bayer Leverkusen
19FWOribe Peralta12 January 1984 (aged 30)32Mexico Santos Laguna
20MFJavier Aquino11 February 1990 (aged 24)21Spain Villarreal
21MFCarlos Peña29 March 1990 (aged 24)16Mexico León
22DFPaul Aguilar6 March 1986 (aged 28)29Mexico América
23MFJosé Juan Vázquez14 March 1988 (aged 26)4Mexico León


Robin van Persie

Three-time World Cup finalists waiting for their first win, the Dutch team made the final in 2010 as well but without winning over too many neutrals for their style and even violent approach. They had no problem in the qualifiers, which is customary, but after their poor performance in the 2012 European Championship the pressure will be on Louis van Gaal and his players to prove it was a one-time slip up.

1GKJasper Cillessen22 April 1989 (aged 25)7Netherlands Ajax
2DFRon Vlaar16 February 1985 (aged 29)23England Aston Villa
3DFStefan de Vrij5 February 1992 (aged 22)11Netherlands Feyenoord
4DFBruno Martins Indi8 February 1992 (aged 22)15Netherlands Feyenoord
5DFDaley Blind9 March 1990 (aged 24)11Netherlands Ajax
6MFJonathan de Guzmán13 September 1987 (aged 26)10Wales Swansea City
7DFDaryl Janmaat22 July 1989 (aged 24)15Netherlands Feyenoord
8MFNigel de Jong13 November 1984 (aged 29)70Italy Milan
9FWRobin van Persie (c)6 August 1983 (aged 30)84England Manchester United
10MFWesley Sneijder9 June 1984 (aged 30)98Turkey Galatasaray
11MFArjen Robben23 January 1984 (aged 30)74Germany Bayern Munich
12DFPaul Verhaegh1 September 1983 (aged 30)2Germany Augsburg
13DFJoël Veltman15 January 1992 (aged 22)2Netherlands Ajax
14DFTerence Kongolo14 February 1994 (aged 20)1Netherlands Feyenoord
15FWDirk Kuyt22 July 1980 (aged 33)98Turkey Fenerbahçe
16MFJordy Clasie27 June 1991 (aged 22)8Netherlands Feyenoord
17FWJeremain Lens24 November 1987 (aged 26)21Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv
18MFLeroy Fer5 January 1990 (age 24)5England Norwich City
19FWKlaas-Jan Huntelaar12 August 1983 (aged 30)61Germany Schalke 04
20MFGeorginio Wijnaldum11 November 1990 (aged 23)4Netherlands PSV
21MFMemphis Depay13 February 1994 (aged 20)6Netherlands PSV
22GKMichel Vorm3 October 1983 (aged 30)14Wales Swansea City
23GKTim Krul3 April 1988 (aged 26)5England Newcastle United


Vincent Enyeama

The defending African champions aren’t bringing a squad with mostly players from the local league this time. Talent is never a problem with Nigeria, and Stephen Keshi has proved he is very capable of handling the huge egos on this squad. However, suspicions of match fixing and under performing in recent matches might become a bit more of a problem once this tournament begins.

FWMichael Uchebo2 February 1990 (aged 24)3Belgium Cercle Brugge
MFReuben Gabriel25 September 1990 (aged 23)11Belgium Waasland-Beveren
MFJohn Obi Mikel22 April 1987 (aged 27)59England Chelsea
MFVictor Moses12 December 1990 (aged 23)20England Liverpool
DFKenneth Omeruo17 October 1993 (aged 20)17England Middlesbrough
FWShola Ameobi12 October 1981 (aged 32)6England Newcastle United
DFJoseph Yobo6 September 1980 (aged 33)96England Norwich City
FWPeter Odemwingie15 July 1981 (aged 32)60England Stoke City
GKVincent Enyeama (c)29 August 1982 (aged 31)90France Lille
DFJuwon Oshaniwa14 September 1990 (aged 23)10Israel Ashdod
GKAustin Ejide8 April 1984 (aged 30)32Israel Hapoel Be’er Sheva
MFOgenyi Onazi25 December 1992 (aged 21)20Italy Lazio
DFUwa Elderson Echiéjilé20 January 1988 (aged 26)42Monaco Monaco
FWUche Nwofor17 September 1991 (aged 22)6Netherlands Heerenveen
GKChigozie Agbim28 November 1984 (aged 29)11Nigeria Gombe United
DFKunle Odunlami5 March 1990 (aged 24)10Nigeria Sunshine Stars
DFAzubuike Egwuekwe16 July 1989 (aged 24)32Nigeria Warri Wolves
FWAhmed Musa14 October 1992 (aged 21)35Russia CSKA Moscow
DFEfe Ambrose18 October 1988 (aged 25)36Scotland Celtic
MFRamon Azeez12 December 1992 (aged 21)1Spain Almería
FWEmmanuel Emenike10 May 1987 (aged 27)22Turkey Fenerbahçe
DFGodfrey Oboabona16 August 1990 (aged 23)35Turkey Çaykur Rizespor
MFMichael Babatunde24 December 1992 (aged 21)4Ukraine Volyn Lutsk


Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo and 22 more players, that’s the motto, even though other players won’t like the sound of that. Portugal have a solid defense and some very talented midfield players. However, all eyes will be on the most recent Ballon d’Or winner, who is hoping that the jokes about him dancing around after his garbage time goal in the Champions League Final will go away if he has a great World Cup.

1GKEduardo19 September 1982 (aged 31)33Portugal Braga
2DFBruno Alves27 November 1981 (aged 32)71Turkey Fenerbahçe
3DFPepe26 February 1983 (aged 31)57Spain Real Madrid
4MFMiguel Veloso11 May 1986 (aged 28)47Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv
5DFFábio Coentrão11 March 1988 (aged 26)43Spain Real Madrid
6MFWilliam Carvalho7 April 1992 (aged 22)3Portugal Sporting
7FWCristiano Ronaldo (c)5 February 1985 (aged 29)110Spain Real Madrid
8MFJoão Moutinho8 September 1986 (aged 27)66Monaco Monaco
9FWHugo Almeida23 May 1984 (aged 30)54Turkey Beşiktaş
10MFVieirinha24 January 1986 (aged 28)7Germany VfL Wolfsburg
11FWÉder22 December 1987 (aged 26)7Portugal Braga
12GKRui Patrício15 February 1988 (aged 26)29Portugal Sporting
13DFRicardo Costa16 May 1981 (aged 33)18Spain Valencia
14DFLuís Neto26 May 1988 (aged 26)7Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
15MFRafa Silva17 May 1993 (aged 21)2Portugal Braga
16MFRaul Meireles17 March 1983 (aged 31)73Turkey Fenerbahçe
17MFNani17 November 1986 (aged 27)73England Manchester United
18MFSilvestre Varela2 February 1985 (aged 29)22Portugal Porto
19DFAndré Almeida10 September 1990 (aged 23)3Portugal Benfica
20MFRúben Amorim27 January 1985 (aged 29)11Portugal Benfica
21DFJoão Pereira25 February 1984 (aged 30)35Spain Valencia
22GKBeto1 May 1982 (aged 32)7Spain Sevilla
23FWHélder Postiga2 August 1982 (aged 31)67Italy Lazio


Roman Shirokov

They have the best manager in the tournament, but will that be enough? Russia have a strong side that disappointed in Euro 2012 after a brilliant start. They did very well in the qualifiers and seem to be quite stocked in every position but without anyone that stands out in terms of the usual definitions of world class or brilliant. That sounds like maybe, possibly, enough for a round of 16 or quarterfinals, but nothing more.

1GKIgor Akinfeev8 April 1986 (aged 28)67Russia CSKA Moscow
12GKYuri Lodygin26 May 1990 (aged 24)2Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
16GKSergey Ryzhikov19 September 1980 (aged 33)1Russia Rubin Kazan
2DFAleksei Kozlov16 November 1986 (aged 27)10Russia Dynamo Moscow
3DFGeorgi Shchennikov27 April 1991 (aged 23)3Russia CSKA Moscow
4DFSergei Ignashevich14 July 1979 (aged 34)95Russia CSKA Moscow
6DFAndrei Semyonov24 March 1989 (aged 25)1Russia Terek Grozny
13DFVladimir Granat22 May 1987 (aged 27)4Russia Dynamo Moscow
14DFVasili Berezutski20 June 1982 (aged 31)77Russia CSKA Moscow
22DFAndrey Yeshchenko9 February 1984 (aged 30)11Russia Anzhi Makhachkala
23DFDmitri Kombarov22 January 1987 (aged 27)21Russia Spartak Moscow
7MFIgor Denisov17 May 1984 (aged 30)42Russia Dynamo Moscow
8MFDenis Glushakov27 January 1987 (aged 27)26Russia Spartak Moscow
10MFAlan Dzagoev17 June 1990 (aged 23)31Russia CSKA Moscow
15MFRoman Shirokov (c)6 July 1981 (aged 32)40Russia Krasnodar
17MFOleg Shatov29 July 1990 (aged 23)6Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
20MFViktor Fayzulin22 April 1986 (aged 28)18Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
5FWYuri Zhirkov20 August 1983 (aged 30)59Russia Dynamo Moscow
9FWAleksandr Kokorin19 March 1991 (aged 23)20Russia Dynamo Moscow
11FWAleksandr Kerzhakov27 November 1982 (aged 31)79Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg
18FWAleksei Ionov18 February 1989 (aged 25)5Russia Dynamo Moscow
19FWAleksandr Samedov19 July 1984 (aged 29)16Russia Lokomotiv Moscow
21FWMaksim Kanunnikov14 July 1991 (aged 22)2Russia Rubin Kazan

South Korea

Koo Ja-Cheol

Park Chu-Young and Lee Keun-Ho are the best players on a experienced side that has a nice blend of players from Asian leagues and Europe (mostly Germany), and are hoping to make it out of the group stage for only the third time in their World Cup history, making the competition every time since 1986.

8MFHa Dae-Sung2 March 1985 (aged 29)13China Beijing Guoan
5DFKim Young-Gwon27 February 1990 (aged 24)20China Guangzhou Evergrande
15MFPark Jong-Woo10 March 1989 (aged 25)10China Guangzhou R&F
17MFLee Chung-Yong2 July 1988 (aged 25)54England Bolton Wanderers
3DFYun Suk-Young13 February 1990 (aged 24)3England Queens Park Rangers
16MFKi Sung-Yueng24 January 1989 (aged 25)58England Sunderland
10FWPark Chu-Young10 July 1985 (aged 28)63England Watford
9FWSon Heung-Min8 July 1992 (aged 21)24Germany Bayer Leverkusen
19FWJi Dong-Won28 May 1991 (aged 23)27Germany FC Augsburg
20DFHong Jeong-Ho12 August 1989 (aged 24)24Germany FC Augsburg
13MFKoo Ja-Cheol (c)27 February 1989 (aged 25)36Germany Mainz 05
22DFPark Joo-Ho[57]16 January 1987 (aged 27)13Germany Mainz 05
2DFKim Chang-Soo12 September 1985 (aged 28)8Japan Kashiwa Reysol
14MFHan Kook-Young19 April 1990 (aged 24)9Japan Kashiwa Reysol
6DFHwang Seok-Ho27 June 1989 (aged 24)3Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima
4DFKwak Tae-Hwi8 July 1981 (aged 32)34Saudi Arabia Al-Hilal
23GKLee Bum-Young2 April 1989 (aged 25)0South Korea Busan I’Park
11FWLee Keun-Ho11 April 1985 (aged 29)63South Korea Sangju Sangmu
1GKJung Sung-Ryong4 January 1985 (aged 29)60South Korea Suwon Bluewings
12DFLee Yong24 December 1986 (aged 27)11South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
18FWKim Shin-Wook14 April 1988 (aged 26)26South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
21GKKim Seung-Gyu30 September 1990 (aged 23)5South Korea Ulsan Hyundai
7MFKim Bo-Kyung6 October 1989 (aged 24)27Wales Cardiff City



The World champions and also two-time European champions seem to be coming in a bit weaker than before. The tiki-taka is no longer the most efficient football style in the world, and Spain have that 3-0 loss to Brazil in the Confederation Cup probably sitting somewhere in the back of their minds. However, this is still a team filled with stars on defense and the midfield, bringing in 14 players from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

20MFSanti Cazorla13 December 1984 (aged 29)62England Arsenal
9FWFernando Torres20 March 1984 (aged 30)107England Chelsea
22DFCésar Azpilicueta28 August 1989 (aged 24)6England Chelsea
21MFDavid Silva8 January 1986 (aged 28)79England Manchester City
12GKDavid de Gea7 November 1990 (aged 23)0England Manchester United
13MFJuan Mata28 April 1988 (aged 26)32England Manchester United
4MFJavi Martínez2 September 1988 (aged 25)16Germany Bayern Munich
2DFRaúl Albiol4 September 1985 (aged 28)46Italy Napoli
23GKPepe Reina31 August 1982 (aged 31)31Italy Napoli
5DFJuanfran9 January 1985 (aged 29)6Spain Atlético Madrid
7FWDavid Villa3 December 1981 (aged 32)94Spain Atlético Madrid
17MFKoke8 January 1992 (aged 22)7Spain Atlético Madrid
19FWDiego Costa7 October 1988 (aged 25)1Spain Atlético Madrid
3DFGerard Piqué2 February 1987 (aged 27)60Spain Barcelona
6MFAndrés Iniesta11 May 1984 (aged 30)95Spain Barcelona
8MFXavi25 January 1980 (aged 34)131Spain Barcelona
10MFCesc Fàbregas4 May 1987 (aged 27)88Spain Barcelona
11FWPedro28 July 1987 (aged 26)38Spain Barcelona
16MFSergio Busquets16 July 1988 (aged 25)64Spain Barcelona
18DFJordi Alba21 March 1989 (aged 25)25Spain Barcelona
1GKIker Casillas (c)20 May 1981 (aged 33)153Spain Real Madrid
14MFXabi Alonso25 November 1981 (aged 32)109Spain Real Madrid
15DFSergio Ramos30 March 1986 (aged 28)115Spain Real Madrid


Gokhan Inler

A strong Swiss team in a much more comfortable group than the one they had in 2010, with players coming from the Bundesliga, Italy and their own local league. The squad has a nice blend of experience and youth, with most of their strength residing in their midfield thanks to Inler, Shaqiri and others, although there should be plenty of creativity to be seen from this side unlike four years ago.

1GKDiego Benaglio8 September 1983 (aged 30)56Germany VfL Wolfsburg
21GKRoman Bürki14 November 1990 (aged 23)0Switzerland Grasshopper
12GKYann Sommer17 December 1988 (aged 25)6Switzerland Basel
22DFFabian Schär20 December 1991 (aged 22)5Switzerland Basel
20DFJohan Djourou18 January 1987 (aged 27)44Germany Hamburger SV
6DFMichael Lang8 February 1991 (aged 23)5Switzerland Grasshopper
4DFPhilippe Senderos14 February 1985 (aged 29)53Spain Valencia
3DFReto Ziegler16 January 1986 (aged 28)35Italy Sassuolo
13DFRicardo Rodríguez25 August 1992 (aged 21)20Germany VfL Wolfsburg
2DFStephan Lichtsteiner16 January 1984 (aged 30)62Italy Juventus
5DFSteve von Bergen10 June 1983 (aged 31)40Switzerland Young Boys
15MFBlerim Džemaili12 April 1986 (aged 28)33Italy Napoli
16MFGelson Fernandes2 September 1986 (aged 27)47Germany SC Freiburg
10MFGranit Xhaka27 September 1992 (aged 21)25Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
8MFGökhan Inler (c)27 June 1984 (aged 29)71Italy Napoli
7MFTranquillo Barnetta22 May 1985 (aged 29)73Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
14MFValentin Stocker12 April 1989 (aged 25)23Switzerland Basel
11MFValon Behrami19 April 1985 (aged 29)47Italy Napoli
23MFXherdan Shaqiri10 October 1991 (aged 22)32Germany Bayern Munich
18FWAdmir Mehmedi16 March 1991 (aged 23)20Germany SC Freiburg
9FWHaris Seferović22 February 1992 (aged 22)10Spain Real Sociedad
19FWJosip Drmić8 August 1992 (aged 21)6Germany 1. FC Nürnberg
17FWMario Gavranović24 November 1989 (aged 24)10Switzerland Zürich

United States

Clint Dempsey

A transnational squad for the USA, always coming in with bigger expectations than they should, as Jurgen Klinsmann sees 2018 as a more realistic target for their future success. It hasn’t helped him in the public opinion’s court that he didn’t include Landon Donovan in the squad, but there’s enough experience even without him. The question is – is there enough talent?

4MFMichael Bradley31 July 1987 (aged 26)85Canada Toronto FC
12GKBrad Guzan9 September 1984 (aged 29)25England Aston Villa
1GKTim Howard6 March 1979 (aged 35)99England Everton
20DFGeoff Cameron11 July 1985 (aged 28)26England Stoke City
17FWJozy Altidore6 November 1989 (aged 24)69England Sunderland
11MFAlejandro Bedoya29 April 1987 (aged 27)27France Nantes
21DFTimothy Chandler29 March 1990 (aged 24)12Germany 1. FC Nürnberg
23DFFabian Johnson11 December 1987 (aged 26)21Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
16MFJulian Green6 June 1995 (aged 19)2Germany Bayern Munich
6DFJohn Brooks28 January 1993 (aged 21)4Germany Hertha Berlin
7DFDaMarcus Beasley24 May 1982 (aged 32)115Mexico Puebla
9FWAron Jóhannsson10 November 1990 (aged 23)8Netherlands AZ
10MFMikkel Diskerud2 October 1990 (aged 23)19Norway Rosenborg
13MFJermaine Jones3 November 1981 (aged 32)41Turkey Beşiktaş
14MFBrad Davis8 November 1981 (aged 32)16United States Houston Dynamo
3DFOmar Gonzalez11 October 1988 (aged 25)19United States Los Angeles Galaxy
15MFKyle Beckerman23 April 1982 (aged 32)36United States Real Salt Lake
22GKNick Rimando17 June 1979 (aged 34)14United States Real Salt Lake
18FWChris Wondolowski28 January 1983 (aged 31)20United States San Jose Earthquakes
2DFDeAndre Yedlin9 July 1993 (aged 20)4United States Seattle Sounders FC
8FWClint Dempsey (c)9 March 1983 (aged 31)104United States Seattle Sounders FC
5DFMatt Besler11 February 1987 (aged 27)16United States Sporting Kansas City
19MFGraham Zusi18 August 1986 (aged 27)22United States Sporting Kansas City


Diego Lugano

No one will be surprised this time if Uruguay have a great tournament after making the semifinal in 2010 and winning the 2011 Copa America. However, three years have past. Diego Forlan is in his twilight footballing years, and so are other many key players. Everything will fall on the shoulders of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani this time, two of the best strikers in the world.

1GKFernando Muslera16 June 1986 (aged 27)57Turkey Galatasaray
2DFDiego Lugano (c)2 November 1980 (aged 33)93England West Bromwich Albion
3DFDiego Godín16 February 1986 (aged 28)76Spain Atlético Madrid
4DFSebastián Coates7 October 1990 (aged 23)14Uruguay Nacional
5MFWalter Gargano23 July 1984 (aged 29)62Italy Parma
6MFÁlvaro Pereira28 November 1985 (aged 28)56Brazil São Paulo
7MFCristian Rodríguez30 September 1985 (aged 28)72Spain Atlético Madrid
8FWAbel Hernández8 August 1990 (aged 23)12Italy Palermo
9FWLuis Suárez24 January 1987 (aged 27)77England Liverpool
10FWDiego Forlán19 May 1979 (aged 35)109Japan Cerezo Osaka
11FWChristian Stuani12 October 1986 (aged 27)9Spain Espanyol
12GKRodrigo Muñoz22 January 1982 (aged 32)0Paraguay Libertad
13DFJorge Fucile19 November 1984 (aged 29)41Portugal Porto
14MFNicolás Lodeiro21 March 1989 (aged 25)26Brazil Botafogo
15MFDiego Pérez18 May 1980 (aged 34)89Italy Bologna
16DFMaxi Pereira8 June 1984 (aged 30)89Portugal Benfica
17MFEgidio Arévalo Ríos1 January 1982 (aged 32)54Mexico Morelia
18MFGastón Ramírez2 December 1990 (aged 23)28England Southampton
19DFJosé María Giménez20 January 1995 (aged 19)5Spain Atlético Madrid
20MFÁlvaro González29 October 1984 (aged 29)42Italy Lazio
21FWEdinson Cavani14 February 1987 (aged 27)61France Paris Saint-Germain
22DFMartín Cáceres7 April 1987 (aged 27)56Italy Juventus
23GKMartín Silva25 March 1983 (aged 31)4Brazil Vasco da Gama
Squads: Source / Images: Source