We spend so much of our time talking about a select few players that dominate so much of the headlines. However, the reality is the world is full of simply thousands of players that never really get the exposure they deserve. This can be for a variety of reasons, but more often than not it is a matter of bad luck.
The players that you will hear about in this slideshow have had opportunities before at some good sized clubs, but they now find themselves on harder times. Nevertheless, we are keen to celebrate these players as they are certainly worth keeping an eye on. The source for the article is Fieldoo who are playing their part in helping these players. So, let’s get started and hopefully after reading this slideshow you will have learned about some new players.
5. Tomasz Kowalczuk (Poland)
Tomasz Kowalczuk is a player who is more defensive in nature and usually plays as a defensive midfielder. He is 21-years old and some clubs may fear that he lacks experience. That being said, the midfield protector has become a very important position in modern day football.
This is because most teams now play with formations that typically feature just one striker and a range of creative and attacking midfielders. In the days when we saw 4-4-2 used more, the protector wasn’t so important or in some cases not even used. However, these days many clubs will actually use two players of this type in order to allow the flair players to go out and do what they do best.
Therefore, although Kowalczuk may not be seen as the most glamorous of players, he is very important and possibly vital to his team. Up until this point, he has played his football in Poland and his ability has been previously spotted after playing for the national side at Under-19 level. Again, he holds an EU passport making him an ideal target for European clubs.
4. Davor Bratic (Croatia)
This list has been dominated by attacking players up to this point, but Davor Bratic is a central midfielder by trade allowing him to combine the attacking and defensive side of the game. Interestingly, the player has played his football in Albania up to this point.
Despite being fairly settled in the position that he plays, he still offers versatility to some point. For instance, his spell with KF Skënderbeu Korçë saw him score seven goals and make 53 league appearances between 2010 and 2012.
Unlike some players looking for their next challenge, Bratic seems to have quite a lot of experience, which should put him in a good spot. His age of 26 is more or less perfect as it isn’t too old to worry about a longer term deal, but not too young to worry about having the correct mentality to play. Being Croatian and with an EU passport he is also an ideal fit for a European club.
3. Jordi Pascual (Argentina)
Jordi Pascual is another attacking player this time hailing from Argentina. However he has the added advantage of holding an EU passport. This, of course, means that if he were to sign for a European club he wouldn’t require a work permit to play.
The other thing that greatly goes in his favour is the fact that he is just 19-years old. As a general rule, clubs are more prepared to take chances on young players because they know that they have room to grow. It’s also fair to say that injuries and fitness concerns won’t be as great as for players approaching 30 and beyond.
Pascual has played his football in Argentina up to this point, but the striker’s scoring record means that he could well be worth a look by many clubs worldwide. He certainly appears to be a player that can have a big future in the game if he can secure the right break.
2. Paulo Cruz (Brazil)
Brazil is certainly in the news at the moment with the stadium incident that occurred last week, but overall we are all looking forward to seeing how they get on hosting the World Cup in 2014 as well as the Olympic Games four years later. That being said, Paulo Cruz is a 28-year-old attacker that is a long way from players like Oscar and Neymar.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that he isn’t a hugely valuable player and will be looking forward to the next chapter of his career. Although, not too much information is known about him, it’s clear that he has done a fair amount of moving around. Most of that career has been spent with clubs in Brazil and Portugal, but most recently he was playing for FK Vardar that plays in Macedonia.
Most clubs will probably see Cruz’s varied experience as a positive, but his age may count against him. Clubs will be wary of signing a 28-year-old onto a long term deal with the knowledge that injuries may soon count against him. Although, there is something about Brazillan flair that most clubs simply can’t turn down.
1. Francisco Javier Acuna (Mexico)
Francisco Javier Acuna is a 25-year-old Mexican that has the adaptability to play in a number of different positions, but as you may expect, he is an attacking player by nature.
This player, like many on this list, showed promise as a youngster after coming through the youth system at Tigres UANL, which is one of the bigger professional clubs in Mexico with a stadium capacity of 42,000.
He has recently enjoyed loan spell with two other Mexican clubs in the shape of San Luis and Atlante, but may now be looking to make his breakthrough with a European club as plenty of Mexicans have in the past. The 58 appearances and seven goals he has scored with UANL demonstrates his obvious potential.
At 25, he really needs to find a club where he can play regular games even if that means playing at a lower level than he would ideally like. Attacking players are always in demand and most clubs would admit that they could never have too many of them. Therefore, Acuna’s chances of being in demand look fairly good.