Japan come to the Confederations Cup as Asian Champions and they also have two Premier League players in their ranks, both having only spent one season England. Shinji Kagawa is certainly the best Japanese player at the moment and after impressing with Dortmund, winning back to back to Bundesliga titles, his transfer to United was not only seen as a coup but also a marketing scheme. The Japanese had a few injuries along the way, but overall scored 6 goals in 20 appearances for the club. More importantly, he combined well with Van Persie and was able to complement RVP by interchanging positions and runs into the box. The other player is Southampton’s Maya Yoshida, who had a good first season in the Premier League after transferring from Dutch side VVV-Venlo. Quite frankly, there have only been a total of 6 Japanese players that have played top flight English football so far.
The “love him or hate him” Luis Suarez will certainly be playing a big role in Uruguay’s attempt to advance to the final. He’s been the only member of the team that has been actually performing. Currently vying for a move away from the Premier League, he needs to impress his suitors on the world wide stage yet again. Gaston Ramirez has faired well, having arrived as Southampton’s record signing, scoring 6 and assisting in 3 goals. More will be expected from him the next season as Southampton battle to stay in the Premier League.
Uruguay has a pool of talent waiting to be tapped by Premier League teams. The first name on the list has been on the radar of all European top sides, and having guided Napoli to a second placed finish, Edinson Cavani is worthy of all the attention. Rumors are that he won’t be at Napoli next season with the most likely suitors coming from the Premier League and Juventus. Another top player, recently relegated with Palermo, is Abel Hernandez who has the ability to score and set up goals with ease.
With only two Premier League players in their squad, the Nigerian national team doesn’t look to English shores like they used to or rather, the Nigerian players aren’t as skilled as they used to be. The Chelsea duo of Victor Moses and Obi Mikel are both present, and were also the only two Premier League players to be present during Nigeria’s recent African Cup of Nations victory. Under Stephen Keshi, the team doesn’t include all the big names fans are used and he has selected from both African based players and European based players to build a well balanced team. While players will be showcasing their goods, there are few that will attract big Premier League teams.