5.Luiz Suarez, Uruguay
One of Uruguay’s three over-age players, Luiz Suarez is expected to help lead his team during this summers Olympic Games. The Liverpool star had a tough season last year, finding himself banned for eight games by the FA for racially abusing Patrice Evra. His club didn’t fare so well in the Premier League either, but expect Suarez to bounce back this summer, hoping to erase—or at least minimize—the shadow from last season. Everything aside, Suarez is an incredibly talented attacking player that will certainly make an impact for Uruguay at the Olympics.
4.Ryan Giggs, Great Britain
The Manchester United legend is one of the three over-age players for Great Britain this summer, and with the absence of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs will no doubt be the leader of the squad. The Team GB captain has never played in a major international tournament before, and retired from the Welsh national team in 2007. At the age of 38, this is his surely last opportunity to play at this level. Giggs has had endless success at the club level with United, but he’ll be gunning for a strong showing in what has been called the crowning achievement in his decorated career.
3.Giovani Dos Santos, Mexico
While Giovani Dos Santos has struggled to find his place at Tottenham Hotspur—and may be moving on to another club soon—the Mexican midfielder is no stranger to the international stage. He made his debut with the senior team as a teenager in 2007, and now at 23, he is still relatively young but incredibly experienced. Look for Dos Santos to put on a show this summer, but also keep an eye out for 21-year-old Pachucha winger Hector Herrera. The young starlet has had Premier League clubs like Liverpool keeping tabs on him, and will no doubt be the future of the Mexican national team.
2.Jordi Alba, Spain
When you have a team like Spain, it’s difficult to single out just one player. With such great success on the national stage, it’s no wonder this Olympic roster is stacked. But, the one player you should definitely keep close tabs on is defender Jordi Alba. The 23-year-old just signed a massive 14 million pound, five year contract with Barcelona. Coming off of Spain’s European Championship win, Alba is surely hungry for more success on the international stage.
Of course, don’t forget to watch Juan Mata and Javi Martinez as they will certainly run through any and all opponents in their way. Spain will be a force to be reckoned with at the London Olympics.
If it’s tough to pick one player from Spain, it’s equally—if not more—challenging with Brazil. This team is overflowing with young talents like Neymar, Marcelo and Alexandre Pato. This squad is flashy, fast and fierce. However, one player stands out above the rest—literally. Simply known as Hulk, the 25-year-old forward/winger/giant plays for FC Porto in Portugal. The intimidating attacker has been courted by many of the big clubs in Europe, but has yet to make a move. Expect him to dominate the competition this summer in London.