Early surprises for the World Cup

By Michael Vass | May 12, 2010

There is still time before the first match of the World Cup in South Africa, yet the surprises have already started. In nations around the world fans are being stunned, not only because who is on various teams but also who is not.

One of the big surprises has to be the fact that Ronaldinho will not be on the starting 23 player line-up for Brazil. It’s an insult to Ronaldinho, and a massive sore point for fans. He still might make the cut as one of 7 players yet to be picked for the injury subsitution list, but then he won’t be able to play full matches. Why Brazil coach Dunga made this decision is baffling.

But the surprises don’t end there.

For the USA there is the matter of who won’t play for America. 2 players, Americans both, opted to play for nations overseas. Giuseppe Rossi of New Jersey has accepted a spot on Italy’s line-up. Neven Subotic has joined up with Serbia. Which begs the question, if they are good enough to play for European teams, why wouldn’t they be playing for the united States? (Both have dual citizenship, I believe, which allows them to play for the other nations)

In less of a surprise for Team USA, Charlie Davies did not make the cut. This is less of a shock though since his car accident on October 13th. Still he has made a massive recovery, and more than a few fans were hopeful of his selection.

Ruud van Nistelrooy is out for the Netherlands, his knee injury being the culprit. Gareth Barry is on for England with is ankle injury. Xavi Hernandez, Cesc Fabregas made it on the list for Spain with their injuries.

Some of the ommissions across the world made sense, especially considering the other factors involved. Like Karim Benzema not making it on France. The allegations of the underage sex scandal may not be the stated reason, but even in France Benzema is being looked at much like LT in the U.S.

Xherdan Shaqiria is still a surprise for Switzerland. 18 and having no real experience in international matches (a total of 45 minutes so far) he made the team 3 weeks ago.

The World Cup always has surprises and unique match-ups. This year will be no different. But anything can happen, and usually does until the final moment.

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