10 Players to Watch at the 2014 World Cup

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10 Players to Watch at the 2014 World Cup

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Photo via the World Cup's official Facebook page

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is rapidly approaching as we are barely six months away from the beginning of what it promising to be one of the best tournaments in years. There will be 32 teams all vying for the same dream: becoming world champions. The hosts, Brazil, already have five cups to their name, so since they are the hosts they will look to make it a total of six by the end of the grand finale.

There will be many players taking part in this tournament with some expecting to make a huge impact while others will do their very best and still come up short. Each player that does step out onto the field and does not ride the pine throughout the tourney will be the luckiest ones whether they win or lose. Playing in a World Cup is nothing short of a dream for many men around the world, so for those that do they should truly and honestly take a deep breath and simply enjoy the ride.

This is going to be full of young teams that have veterans who still have exactly what it takes to carry their teams game after game through thick and thin. There will be heartbreak and joy in every single game with moments that will never be forgotten. The ones who have the stronger will are the ones that will prevail. They all have to know this before the beginning of what will be one of the most important times in their lives.

Keep on reading to take a quick look at ten of the players to watch out for next summer.

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10. Jordi Alba

Jordi Alba
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This Barcelona left back has the ability to surge up the left flank whenever possible. When it comes to defending, he is definitely nowhere near a top candidate, but he can keep up with an opposing attacker as he is one of the fastest in his position.

When it comes to leading a counter on the break he is absolutely phenomenal. In addition, the youngster can sprint past many defenders at a time to either set up a teammate or rip a shot at frame. He has already scored at both the club and international level.

This is truly an exciting player to watch for the reigning World champs.

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9. Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

This young man has been scoring at will in the Premier League for Aston Villa. The club is not one of the better ones, but he truly is a game-changer as a striker. He can head the ball, hold the ball up for himself as well as other teammates making runs, and he can even score some sensational goals.

The most respectable aspect of his game is the fact that he is not afraid to take chances by any means. He is about to be starting for his nation of Belgium, a deprived area in Europe who has been missing their beloved flag on the world stage since the year 2002.

Yeah, it is more than safe to say that he will have a good tournament if healthy and his teammates can keep up with him.

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8. Edin Dzeko

Edin Dzeko
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Manchester City forward has proved himself time and time again at the club level, but now he has the chance to do the same for his nation, Bosnia, which will be participating in its first ever World Cup.

This man is tall, strong, fast and skilled enough to create his own scoring chances, and he can even pass the ball to help a nearby teammate to connect with the net. He will be an important member of their starting 11 so he needs to be at his very best at all times.

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7. Franck Ribery

Ribery
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

This man is the starting left winger for the Champions League winners, FC Bayern Munich. He is one of the most important members of their offense as he is responsible for sending many balls into the area for his teammates to score off of. In addition, he is fast, skilled and strong. His play can and will make a difference for his country.

There is also a good chance that he gets chosen as captain since he will be playing in his third straight World Cup since his debut back in 2006. He deserves the armband as he knows how to win games and bring out the very best in his teammates.

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6. Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

This man scored the winning goal in last season's Champions League final for Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund. He is one of the world's fastest and most skilled players in his position as a right winger. The beauty of his game is that he can take on multiple players at any given time during a match to either set someone up into he final third or even set himself up if need be.

His most famous move is to dance down the right then cut towards the middle right outside of the 18 to either send someone through or let her rip trying to find a top corner. He does get fouled a lot, but he truly is one of the very best when it comes to making things happen in the offensive end.

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5. Mario Gotze

Mario Gotze
Photo via Bayern Munich's official Facebook page

This kid is still in his very early twenties and has quite a bit to learn about the game. However, this does not mean that he isn't one of the very best young attacking central midfielders who has a keen eye for the offensive game.

He did recently switch from one rival to the other in Dortmund to Bayern Munich, but he is further developing his game under coach Pep Guardiola. This is exactly what could raise his game to a new level just in time for the most prestigious tournament in soccer.

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4. Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

This man is currently the top scorer in the Premier League for Liverpool as he is simply too smart in front of frame. Whether he cuts in from the wings, dances up the middle, or simply taps or heads in a pass, Luis Suarez is one of the best if not the best central striker int he world.

His nation, Uruguay. is expected to go quite far in the World Cup, and if he plays well they can even make it all the way to the semifinals and perhaps cause an upset against one of the more talented nations.

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3. Leo Messi

Leo Messi
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

A man who has done it all at the club level for Barcelona has yet to prove himself at the international level when it comes to the World Cup. He wears the No. 10 for both teams since he can score, pass, dribble and pretty much do everything else involved when it comes to offense.

Leo Messi is a guy who is going through a rough patch this year due to a a hamstring injury that has kept him on the sidelines for two months. If he does bounce back from the injury and pick up by scoring and assisting goals for Barca, he will absolutely be ready to lead his nation of Argentina into a World Cup that they very much could win.

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2. Neymar

Neymar
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

This man is playing alongside Messi for Barcelona in his first year just months after leading Brazil to yet another Confederation's Cup. He is still only 21 years of age, but he is fast, swift, tricky and is so good at finding teammates for perfect scoring opportunities while he himself can score from close and afar alike.

Neymar will be wearing the No. 10 on his back to represent his home nation of Brazil. In front of his local fans, he will be expected to put on yet another show by scoring important goals to grab as many wins as possible. His nation is a shoo-in to win it all.

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Being that he practically punched the ticket for his nation of Portugal to make it to next summer's finals, Ronaldo will be the captain of a rather shaky ship. He is the best player available as he is their best scorer, fastest runner and most active player when it comes to the final third. He is not expected to win the Cup by any means since he is literally the only superstar they have in their ranks. However, this does not mean that he won't score plenty of goals and put on many memorable performances.

He is currently the favorite to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or, and if he does he will keep that in mind when he represents his beloved nation come next June.

Looking to watch Messi, Ronaldo, and the rest of these elite players in Brazil next summer? Make sure to look for 2014 World Cup tickets when they become available so you can see the stars of soccer play for the greatest trophy in the game!

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