There are some amazing players from smaller or lesser known countries in the world of football, meaning their not from soccer incubators like Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and France.
These are players who come from countries where soccer might not even be the top sport, say South Korea or Iceland, but more they are players with unique abilities that defy their countries small stature – and make their country proud, and the people chant their names in praise.
Berbatov ( Bulgaria) – All the transfer talk is about who’s going to scoop this player up from the Tottenham Hotspurs. The word on the street is that those who want Berbatov will have to pay more than £30million for his services.
Park Ji-Sung (South Korea) – He arrived not just to sell more Manchester United jerseys in Asia, but has the touch and skill of someone who’s from Brazil. But he also plays simple and smart soccer on top of that, pass and move.
"He is a natural mover. When the team passes the ball, he moves – he’s always had a great talent for that and today was another great example of that.” – Alex Ferguson
Michael Essien ( Ghana) – A player who’s not necessarily unknown. He does play for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Chelsea. But he’s a player with skills that go beyond the usual defensive midfielder. He’s a linebacker with the touch of a forward. He’s the new type of player all big clubs are seeking, think Viera and Keane and Scholes rolled into one.
With the African Nations Cup starting on January 20th in his homeland of Ghana, Essien’s recognition will broaden even more. Learn more from Essien’s interview with SoccerNet.com.
Gudjohnsen ( Iceland) – At times, he’s played ahead of Ronaldinho believe it or not. With Dinho in somewhat of a slump, Gudjohnsen has been the go to man. He fits in nicely with Deco and Iniesta, has the flair and soccer brain to connect passes with some of these gifted stars who could play blind folded.
Check out this run he makes along the far right side from his own defensive box, and then cuts through a few defenders.
But here’s a clip of the Ice Man during his time with Chelsea.
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