With the 2014 Brazil World Cup just round the corner, most country’s have named their provisional World Cup squads. Here’s a quick look at Chelsea’s World Cup-bound players.
Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard form the heart of Belgium’s World Cup contingent, with Eden’s younger brother Thorgan Hazard, also a Chelsea player, on the standby list. Their youthful squad will head to the World Cup as outsiders to land the trophy, but their impressive form has not gone unnoticed, with the Belgian national team getting into the seeded pot and look very likely to progress to the knockout stages. Hazard’s form will most likely determine whether Belgium have an extended run in the competition or not.
Chelsea’s Brazilian quartet of Oscar, Willian, Ramires, and David Luiz all made the cut to represent the host nation, with Chelsea being the best-represented club in the Brazilian team. All 4 players were pre-confirmed by Luiz Felipe Scolari, who had a nine month managerial stint at Chelsea, to be in his World Cup squad, suggesting that they are all likely to play starring roles this summer. Lucas Piazon, the young Brazilian whiz on loan at Vitesse, is the only Brazilian to miss out.
Samuel Eto’o is poised to play in his fourth World Cup for Cameroon, after being named in Volker Finke’s provisional squad. Adding the Brazil World Cup finals to his appearances in France ’98, Korea-Japan ’02 and South Africa ’10 would see him equal the Cameroonian World Cup finals record held by Rigobery Song and Jacques Songo’o. The veteran striker’s appearance at Brazil was made possible only by a dramatic U-turn on his decision to retire from international football last year, and he will also have an eye on Roger Milla’s national goals record at the finals. But Chelsea teammate David Luiz will not look to do him any favours, with the duo going head-to-head in their Group A clash.
Chelsea’s lack of English players is extremely alarming, especially considering that Frank Lampard is one of the 2 Chelsea representatives in this English side. Our poor domestic player bias is not affecting us just yet, but should the FA come down hard with homegrown restrictions, we may just feel the increased pressure to get more English names into our squad. Gary Cahill is our other England stalwart, partnering Everton captain Phil Jagielka at the heart of England’s defence.
Andre Schurrle‘s inclusionin the German squad should come as no surprise, considering his impressive form of late for both club and country. Schurrle netted a 4 goals in his last 3 international games, recording a memorable hat-trick against Sweden in the process. Yet, with the wealth of talent overloading Germany’s midfield, Schurrle is unlikely to see many minutes on the pitch, and would do well to make the most of his playing time.
“We have discovered gold from Africa” were the words proclaimed by Jose Mourinho in his first reign at the club. 9 years on, it is the very same man leaving John Obi Mikel on the bench for majority of Chelsea’s matches, and looks likely to bring an end to the Chelsea chapter of Mikel’s career. Mikel has enjoyed the best part of his career here, playing an instrumental role in our Road to Munich, and sometimes looking like the man he was bought to replace, Claude Makelele. But he is yet to prove himself to be anywhere near the midfield lynchpin’s standard consistently, and Nigeria would be counting on him to deliver the goods at this year’s World Cup.
Despite failing to make the cut for the friendly win over Italy in March, Fernando Torres has joined Cesar “Dave” Azpilicueta on the plane to Brazil. Torres has had a typically stormy season, delivering some rather important goals like that against Galatasaray in Turkey, but also looking like a spent force at times. His inconsistency has drawn much unfair criticism from the press, and with the inclusion of Diego Costa in the squad and Del Bosque’s preference for a striker-less formation, seems likely to remain on the bench. Dave has had a phenomenal season, and with the dwarf of talented Spanish right-backs coming through the ranks of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico, seems quite likely to take a spot in the first team. Both players will be looking to emulate Spain’s South Africa success.
With that, I have come to the end of my report, hope you enjoyed it. #ktbffh