The 2013-2014 season has come to an end for Chelsea FC, but many of the Chelsea players have football’s biggest prize looming this summer. The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins in less than a month, and every Chelsea player boarding a plane to Brazil will dream of winning it all.
Having already discussed the England, Spain and Brazil players in the latest article, it is now time to look at the Belgium, Nigeria and Germany representatives from Chelsea.
There are a trio of Chelsea players representing Belgium in Brazil, but only one of them featured for Chelsea during the 2013-2014 season. That player is of course Eden Hazard, and he is joined by on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and nearly forgotten striker Romelu Lukaku.
Hazard, considered to be one of the best young players in all of Europe, has a guaranteed spot on the final 23 man roster. He will be the catalyst for the Belgian attack and the main reason that Belgium is a dark horse candidate to win it all in Brazil.
The Belgian midfielder can simply do it all. He scored 14 goals for the Blues and also had 7 assists in a campaign where the brunt of the attack was on his shoulders. His ability to impact the scoreline of a game is not even his best attribute.
Few players in the world have the ability to dribble past players like Hazard. He can make any defender look foolish and can easily get past three or four players. Belgium will need a stellar performance by Hazard, but his Chelsea counterparts will look to make his job much easier this summer.
Courtois, yet to make an appearance for Chelsea, has been on loan for the past three seasons at Atletico Madrid. The Spanish side knocked the Blues out of the Champions League, and the young goalkeeper played an instrumental part in defeating his parent club. Atleti eventually lost the Champions League Final to rivals Real Madrid, but the club did win the La Liga title.
The young keeper is arguably one of the best in the world and will look to usurp longtime Chelsea keeper Petr Cech as early as next season. He will be a rock in the back for the Belgians this summer.
Romelu Lukaku, once heralded as a young prodigy, has not seen significant playing time for Chelsea in the last two years. He has had two impressive loan spells at other Premier League clubs and has become a prolific scorer in the English game.
He is a huge aerial target who mixes raw power with finesse in his ability to move past players. He will hook up well with Hazard, and the two should prove to be a dangerous attacking duo in Brazil.
The only German in the Chelsea squad is Andre Schuerrle, and he looks to play an important role in Germany’s quest to win it all in Brazil. German national team manager Joachim Loew has nothing but praise for the young winger.
“That year in England has done Schuerrle really, really good,” Loew said. “He’s played in quite a few big games for Chelsea.” (Via ESPNFC)
Schuerrle is a versatile player and can play comfortably in many attacking positions. He has great vision and has the potential to change any game for the better. His hat trick against Fulham this season is evidence of that. It is unclear how Germany’s attack will be shaped, but one can expect Schuerrle to play a vital role for his country.
John Obi Mikel is the only Chelsea player to represent an African country in Brazil. He is the focal point for that team, and his big game experience will be needed. Nigeria performed ok at last year’s Condfederations Cup, but they will need to play at the top of their game to escape a group including Argentina and Lionel Messi.
Keep a look out for more articles through the summer as the World Cup begins and Blues players compete to win it all for their countries.