Manchester United's offensive midfielder had a great 2002 World Cup, scoring the goal that eliminated Portugal. Now he's on the verge of international stardom.
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The unpredictable midfielder, one of the most lethal attackers in the English Premier League for Chelsea, will lead Holland's youth movement in its first World Cup since '98.
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Already regarded as one of the world's two best netminders (along with Italy's Gianluigi Buffon), Cech is signed through 2010 to patrol the goalmouth for Chelsea.
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Ghana's first World Cup could be memorable thanks to the Bison (right), a midfield dominator who led Lyon to two straight French titles before making a $43 million move to Chelsea this past season.
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Named for Ronald Reagan, the nimble Manchester United winger played a big role in Portugal's run to the Euro '04 final and is already one of the world's most skilled and entertaining players.
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Cesc burst onto the international scene this spring in an Arsenal jersey, helping to lead the north London team to its first Champions League final. Will the attacking midfielder crack Luis Aragonés' starting XI?
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The Polish-born forward, known as "Prinz Poldi" (center), emerged from FC Cologne's youth team late in '03 to become a force for both club and country, as well as the new face of Germany's rebuilding national team.
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Juan Román Riquelme
After waiting for years for a chance, Riquelme has taken over Argentina's central midfield with great success under Argentina head coach José Pekerman. Barcelona may regret selling him to Spanish rival Villarreal.
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Perhaps the next great Brazilian center-forward, the Emperor was named the top player at the '05 Confederations Cup after leading Brazil to the title with a tournament-high five goals. Physically imposing, he could be a lethal partner for Ronaldo up top for Brazil.
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He may be young and small of stature, but the Flea is a dangerous left-footed attacker for Barcelona and, according to Pekerman, "a footballing genius."
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