The tournament is intended to be a preparatory tournament for the AFC Asian Cup 2019.
Another good news on the queue for Indian football fans as the Intercontinental cup is knocking at the door. The tournament will kick start between 1st and 10th June 2018 in the Mumbai. It is a tournament consisting of four teams-New Zealand, Kenya, Chinese Taipei, and India, who are also the host nation for the tournament.
The expectation is high from Blue Tigers as they will perspire against mightier opponents since 2018 World cup Qualifiers. The tournament is seen as a preparatory tournament for the AFC Asian cup 2019.
Here are the top five players to look out for in the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2018.
Victor Wanyama: (Kenya)
The Kenya captain will look to dazzle fans in India
Victor Wanyama is the current captain of the Kenyan national football team who plays his club football at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League. Wanyama at the age of 26 is quite chock a block by experience as he has already played in European top leagues.
He joined Scottish giants Celtic in the year 2011 where he played 61 matches. After that, he drew attention from English side Southampton FC where he was featured in 85 occasions. The defensive baseman then moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2016 and currently he is a regular in Pochettino’s side.
Wanyama became the first ever Kenyan player to score in the UEFA Champions League. He scored the first goal in Celtic’s 2–1 win over Barcelona on 7 November 2012. He has earned over 40 caps for the Kenyan national team since making his international debut in May 2007.
Marco Rojas: (New Zealand)
Marco Rodrigo Rojas, nicknamed ‘The Kiwi Messi’ by Melbourne Victory FC fans- plays as a winger/Attacking midfielder for the Kiwis. The 26-year-old Hamilton-born started his career for Hamilton Wanderers in 2007 (based in Hamilton, New Zealand) currently plays for Heerenveen in the Eredivisie which is the top tier of Dutch football.
Rojas is nicknamed the Kiwi Messi
The 26 years old moved around several Australian and Kiwi football clubs and had successful stints with Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix before he tried his luck in the Bundesliga by joining VfB Stuttgart in 2013. Despite not being a regular in the team he comes with a bag full of experience of European football, will surely be a treat to watch in the Intercontinental Cup.
Chen Po Liang (Chinese Taipei)
The experienced candidate can be the surprise package of the tournament
Starting his career as young Futsal player, Chen’s talent was soon recognized by Taiwan PE College professor which encouraged him to try out in Japan with teams such as Yokohama F.Marinors, FC Gifu, FC Kariya.
The veteran midfielder played in several leagues in Asia (Taiwan, China and Hong Kong) before joining Hangzhou Greentown (currently plays in China League One). The 29-year-old is representing his country since 2006 and is also the captain of the team. As underdogs of the tournament, the Chinese Taipei will look for Chen’s magic on the field to lift up the trophy here in India.
Michael McGlinchey (New Zealand)
McGlinchey played his youth football with Scottish club Celtic, where he made his professional debut. After spending time on loan to Dunfermline Athletic, he joined Central Coast Mariners in the A-League where he made over 100 appearances. In his time at the club, he spent periods on loan at Motherwell in 2010 and with Vegalta Sendai in 2014. He joined Wellington Phoenix in 2014 after securing a release from the Mariners.
The 31-year-old midfielder represented Scotland at U-20 and U-21 levels but changed allegiance to New Zealand, his country of birth, at senior level. He was a member of the New Zealand National Team squad at the 2010 World Cup. He has made over twenty-five appearances for New Zealand, scoring four goals.
Sunil Chhetri (INDIA)
Cheetri is expected to lead India to glory once again
The 33-year-old striker is analogized with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo because of his goal scoring average for the country. Sunil has scored 56 goals in 97 appearances for the Blue Tigers so far.
Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in 2002. He then moved to JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games, the most he has scored for any side in his career. He signed for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in 2010, becoming the third player from the subcontinent of note to go abroad. However, that stint in the United States did not last long and soon he was back in India’s I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad. This time he was signed by Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga where he played for the club’s reserve side.
Inevitably India needs Chhetri’s services to make good remarks in the Intercontinental Cup 2018.