Copa America Players To Watch: Group B

Ganso: What Brazil have been looking for?


Having been injured for much of the season Ganso will come into the Copa America fresher than most of his Brazilian team mates who have just completed full seasons in Europe. While Neymar has caught the headlines, Ganso has wowed Santos fans on their way to Copa Libertadores glory with his passing ability and raw talent to find space and make the most of it. The 21 year old could be the playmaker that Brazil have been calling out for to supply the likes of Pato, Robinho and Neymar. If Ganso puts in similar performances to the ones he regularly churns out for Santos, he could cement himself as number one choice for this role for years to come.


Justo Villar:

It is not easy to follow in the footsteps of the legend Jose Luis Chilavert but the current Paraguayan keeper is making a decent stab at it. Like Chilavert, the Vallodolid stopper is also captain of his national team and is an inspirational leader to the more glamorous players like Roque Santa Cruz and Lucas Barrios. With Valladolid languishing in the second tier of Spanish football, the 33 year old with over 70 caps to his name will be looking for a return to top flight football. The Copa America may well provide the spring board required to do this if he is able to keep out the likes of Neymar, Robinho and co in their group game against Brazil.

Christian Benitez:

Chucho, as he is known in Ecuador is a player whose goal scoring record speaks for itself. For football fans in Europe they will remember the striker for his torrid time at Birmingham City which produced only 3 goals in 30 games. However, in the America’s he is a different proposition. He averages a goal every two games for the national team and better than that in the Mexican league where he has spent much of his career. Benitez will not only score goals but also excite crowds with his dribbling ability and pace, and with only 1 goal in the 2007 Copa America he will look to better that significantly this Summer.

Jose Rondon:

The underdogs in Group B will rely heavily on the Malaga striker. Rondon was instrumental alongside a resurgent Julio Baptista in keeping the south coast team in Spain’s top division at the backend of last season and will hope to take his form into his first major international tournament. At just 21, the athletic striker has already broken the scoring record for a Venezuelan in a La Liga season. These performances, and more precisely his 14 goals last season, have lead to him being linked with €10million plus move to Arsenal.


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