Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Five players to watch
by Paul Kennedy, August 6th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[OLYMPIC MEN] While all teams didn't use their allotment of three overage (over-23) players for the Olympic men's soccer tournament, the favorites are all counting on veterans to play key roles in attack.

RONALDINHO. The Olympics were so important to the 28-year-old Brazilian that he made his release for the Beijing Games part of his agreement to join AC Milan from Barcelona. "What motivates me the most is the chance to make history in Brazilian football and win this first gold medal," Ronaldinho says. "We all know that if we win this medal, we will make history. It's an unprecedented title. It's a very important competition, just as important to us the World Cup and other big tournaments." The closest Brazil has come to winning a goal was in 1984 and 1988 when it finished second to France and the Soviet Union, respectively. Ronaldinho was on the Brazil team that lost to Cameroon in the 2000 quarterfinals. Brazil didn't qualify four years ago.

JUAN ROMAN RIQUELME. The 30-year-old playmaker may have had an up-and-down club career, but he has been sensational for Argentina, which he led to the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup, where it should be noted Argentina lost to host Germany on penalty kicks after he was subbed out. Riquelme came out of a short international retirement to score five goals for Argentina at the 2007 Copa America and had two goals apiece in a pair of World Cup qualifiers last fall. He won four Libertadores Cup with Boca Juniors; his only title with Argentina came at the 1997 Under-20 World Cup.

PETER ODEMWINGIE. The 27-year-old winger is the lone overage player in Nigeria's squad after Vincent Enyeama and Ikechukwu Uche were denied permission by their clubs to represent the Dream Team IV in China. Odemwingie was born in Uzbekistan to a Nigerian father and Russian father, moved back to Nigeria, where his father was a doctor, when he was 2 and later moved to Moscow to enter the CSKA youth system. Most of his career has been spent in Belgium and France, though he returned to Moscow last year to play for Lokomotiv.

ROY MAKAAY. Few teams have taken the Olympics men's tournament as seriously as the Netherlands, which will field a host of underage stars to provide service for the 33-year-old Makaay, one of the most consistent goal scorers in European soccer for more than a decade. Makaay has scored 231 league goals in a career that began at Vitesse and took him to Tenerife and Deportivo La Coruna in Spain and Bayern Munich in Germany and back to the Netherlands at Feyenoord.

TOMASSO ROCCHI. The 30-year-old Lazio forward is Italy's only overage player, picked by Coach Pierluigi Casiraghi for his leadership and scoring ability. "I think Tommaso is going to score a lot of goals during the Olympics," says Casiraghi. Rocchi, who has scored a minimum of 13 league goals in each of his four seasons at Lazio, will be counted upon to guide the young Italians, including New Jersey product Giuseppe Rossi. "Tommaso is an expert player and an important one," adds Casiraghi. "He is also a great person and has a lot of respect from younger players."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS All-Star Game averages 833,000 viewers    
Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game drew 548,000 viewers for Fox Sports 1's first broadcast of the ...
What They're Saying: Hugo Perez    
"I hereby thank the Salvadoran people for their support in regards to the position of national-team ...
ICYMI | MLS: Drogba gets a rock-star greeting in Montreal    
Hundreds of fans turned out to welcome Didier Drogba to Montreal. Philly's new signing, Tranquillo Barnetta, ...
U.S. Abroad: Torres absent from Copa Libertadores final    
After starting both legs of the semifinals, Jose Torres did not play for Mexico's Tigres in ...
MLS honors Rothenberg with legacy award    
MLS founder Alan Rothenberg was named the first recipient of an award that will bear his ...
What They're Saying: Prince Ali    
"[Michel] Platini is not good for FIFA, Football's fans and players deserve better. FIFA is engulfed ...
MLS All-Star Game Takeaways: Kaka carries All-Stars    
Brazilian star Kaka says he grew up and loved watching U.S. all-star games. He finally got ...
ICYMI MLS: Penedo leaves Galaxy, Barnetta goes to Philly    
It looks like Donovan Ricketts could be on his way back to L.A. in the aftermath ...
Video Pick: Lloyd golazo ups goal streak to seven games    
If there is one lesson NWSL opponents should have learned from the Women's World Cup, it's ...
What They're Saying: Abby Wambach    
"I haven't made a decision about the Olympics next summer and I would have to make ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives