In few days’ time, all attention will be in Brazil on the performance of 32 teams from all continents across the world. With all the 23 man-squad for each team that will be participating in 2014 FIFA world cup finalized by all teams. We will like to focus on some of the African players that are game changer and big influence, which are worth looking out for as the game kick-off on 12th June 2014.
Full name: Gnegneri Yaya Toure
Date of birth: May 13, 1983
Place of birth: Sokoura, Bouake. Cote d´voire
Nationality: Cote d´voire
Height: 1:92 m
Current club: Manchester City
With 3 African footballer of the year awards to his name, Yaya Toure began his playing career at the famous Asec Mimosa, his performance has made him played for some of the European elite club, majorly FC Barcelona and he was part of the historic 2009 FC Barcelona team that won six trophies in one calendar year under Pep Guardiola, before he moved to Manchester City in 2010. Yaya Toure has made 82 caps and 16 goals for the national team. His finishing, direct free kicks passing ability combine with his physical power has made him a reliable box to box midfielder for club and country. Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora, Barry Boubacar and Didier Drogba are considered as the golden generation of Cote d’ivoire footballer and this year FIFA world cup is considered by many people in Cote d´voire as the last chance to fulfill their potentials and make the country proud.
Full name: John Micheal Nchekwube Obinna
Date of birth: April 22, 1987
Place of birth: Jos, Nigeria
Height: 1.88 m
Current club: Chelsea
Michael John Obi came to limelight during the summer of 2005 at the FIFA world youth championship in the Netherlands; he had an amazing tournament where Nigeria lost to Argentina in the final. He moved to Chelsea from Lyn in a controversial transfer worth 16 million euro in 2006 and the coach José Mourinho was quoted as saying they have found gold from Africa. Michael was converted from attacking midfielder to defensive midfielder and he cemented his position with accurate passing, concentration and reading of the game for many seasons. On the international front he made his international debut for the super eagle in 2005 against Libya, he was one of the 23 man squad that won the 2013 African Cup of nations. As one of the most decorated players in the Nigerian squad both for club and country, much is expected from Michael Obi at this year world cup in Brazil regardless of which position he´s deployed.
Full name: Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Date of birth: March 23, 1989
Place of birth: Hamburg, west Germany
Height: 1:89 m
Position: Attacking midfielder/striker
Current club: FSV Mainz 05
Having represented Germany in the U-19 and U-21 respectively, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting decided to represent Cameroun and on May 2010 he earned his first call-up for the indomitable lion and with 25 caps and 11 goals to his name already, he is the man the team would rely upon to share the goal burden on Samuel Eto, who at 33 years old is no doubt the most decorated players from Africa and is Cameroun all-time leading scorer. Erik eyes for goal combined with pace, dribbling skills could make him one of the revelation of the team and the fresh air they need at his year Mundial.
Full name: Sofiane Feghouli
Date of birth: December 26, 1989
Place of birth: Levallios-Perret, France
Height: 1.78 m
Current club: Valencia CF
Algeria has participated in three FIFA world cup finals with no meaningful success, but with the appointment of Valid Halillhod in July 2011, Algeria has learnt to play attacking football with spirit and determination. The attacking threat comes from this France born Valencia CF player Sofiane Feghouli, a former French youth international, who represented France at U-18 and U-21.He is so good that the coach of France senior national team Raymond Domenech shortlisted him for his pre-selection squad against Uruguay in 2008. He has 17 international appearances with five goals. Blessed with pace, skills, accurate passing and an eye for goal and together with the veteran Madjid Boughera the team captain, who always hold things tight at the back, Algeria can be hopeful of a good impact at this year FIFA world cup tournament.
Full name: Kelvin-Prince Boateng
Date of birth: March 6, 1987
Place of birth: Wedding, Berlin, west Germany
Height: 1.86 m
Current club: FC shalke 04
Ghanaians felt a sense of betray when Kelvin-Prince Boateng went on international football exile in November 2011, his reasons was put down to the many travels he has done for the national team, which has led to many of his injuries. But despite his absence many Ghanaians still hold him dearly in their hearts, due to his determination, leadership quality and working rate which he has shown many times, especially during the quarter final match between USA in the 2010 FIFA world cup when he solely carried the whole team on his shoulders and crown it with an amazing goal. Kelvin-Prince Boateng came back from his international retirement in November 2013. He came on as a substitute in the second leg against Egypt and scored Ghana’s only goal as the Black starts secured qualification to the 2014 FIFA world cup in Brazil. Having proved his critics wrong many times, a lot would depend on Kelvin-Prince form if Ghana is to qualify from the “Group of death”.
Written by: Rotimi Oyekale