With the 2014 World Cup just around the corner, the national teams are beginning to narrow down their squads to determine who will be in the final 23-man squads as well as who’ll be in the provisional 30-man teams that will eventually be reduced to 23.
Honduras are one of the first teams to announce their 23-man squad for the World Cup (see below), while Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Brazil and Nigeria have named their provisional squads.
Among the 23-man squad for Honduras, head coach Luis Fernando Suarez is bringing six British-based players including players from Celtic, Rangers, Hull, Stoke and Wigan. The team will be heading to the United States to play three friendlies against Turkey, Israel and England. Honduras is placed in Group E along with Switzerland, Ecuador and France.
The Honduras 23-man squad that will be available to play in Brazil features:
Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana).
Defenders: Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic/Scotland), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan/England), Maynor Figueroa (Hull City/England), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes/USA), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon/China PR), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua).
Midfielders: Arnold Peralta (Rangers/Scotland), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan/England), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke/England), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo/USA), Andy Najar (Anderlecht/Belgium), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids/USA).
Forwards: Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution/USA), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense/Costa Rica), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad/Spain).
Meanwhile, several teams have announced their preliminary rosters for the World Cup, including host country Brazil.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Similarly Bosnia and Herzegovina head coach Safet Susic has included a few players from English teams Stoke City and Manchester City. Surprisingly Susic included his nephew in the squad who is most likely in the line-up as a placeholder for right-back Mensur Mujdza as long as he recovers in time to be registered by FIFA on June 2nd. Bosnia and Herzegovina is in Group F with Argentina, Iran and Nigeria.
The 24 members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national squad are:
Goalkeepers: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka).
Defenders: Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Ervin Zukanovic (Gent).
Midfielders: Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB), Tino Susic (Hajduk Split), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz).
Forwards: Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Vedad Ibisevic (Stuttgart).
Meanwhile, Brazil will be playing in the opening game on June 12th in Group A, which also includes Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon. The Brazilians have named a provisional 30-man squad that includes:
Goalkeepers: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo FR), Cavalieri (Fluminense) / Victor (Atletico Madrid).
Defenders: Dani Alves (FC Barcelona), Maicon (Roma), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain) / Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Dede (Cruzeiro) / Miranda (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Luiz Gustavo (VfL Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham Hotspur), Ramires (Chelsea), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Oscar (Chelsea), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Hulk (Zenit Saint Petersburg), Neymar (FC Barcelona), Fred (Fluminense), Jo (Clube Atlético Mineiro).
The Netherlands’ national squad currently has 20 Dutch-based players listed and is going through a 10-day training camp before playing a friendly match against Ecuador on May 17th before heading to Brazil. Head coach Louis van Gaal will announce a 30-man roster before flying to Portugal where the team will meet and finalize plans for the World Cup where they will shorten the list to the final 23 members. The Netherlands have been placed in Group B with Spain, Chile and Australia.
The national team for Netherlands includes:
Goalkeepers: Jasper Cillessen (Ajax), Kenneth Vermeer (Ajax), Jeroen Zoet (PSV).
Defenders: Bruno Martins Indi (Feyenoord), Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord), Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord), Karim Rekik (PSV), Joël Veltman (Ajax), Terence Kongolo (Feyenoord).
Midfielders: Daley Blind (Ajax), Luciano Narsingh (PSV), Jordy Clasie (Feyenoord), Memphis Depay (PSV), Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV), Jean-Paul Boëtius (Feyenoord), Davy Klaassen (Ajax), Quincy Promes (FC Twente), Tonny Trindade de Vilhena (Feyenoord).
Forwards: Luc Castaignos (FC Twente), Jürgen Locadia (PSV).
Nigeria Head Coach Stephen Keshi has chosen 30 men for his provisional squad. The Super Eagles will compete in Group F against Argentina, Bosnia and Iran. Their first game is against Iran and will take place on June 16th.
The Nigeria 30-man squad is:
Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Lille OSC), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United F.C.), Daniel Akpeyi (Heartland F.C.).
Defenders: Elderson Echiejile (Monaco), Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod), Efe Ambrose (Celtic F.C.), Godfrey Oboabona (Çaykur Rizespor), Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves), Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough), Joseph Yobo (Norwich City), Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars).
Midfielders: John Mikel (Chelsea), Obi Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio), Ramon Azeez (UD Almeria), Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Sunday Mba (CA Bastia), Gabriel Reuben (Waasland-Beveren), Nosa Igiebo (Real Betis), Joel Obi (Parma F.C.), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge K.S.V.).
Forwards: Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United), Victor Moses (Liverpool), Victor Nsofor Obinna (Chievo), Osaze Odemwingie (Stoke City), Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk), Nnamdi Oduamad (A.S. Varese 1910), Ahmed Musa (PFC CSKA Moscow).
Tell us what you think. Did any of these teams leave out key players? Do you think some players were included that should not have been? Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with these squad choices.