The Dutch Carribean island are on the back of a dominant 2018 calendar year.

With the annual King’s Cup just under a month away now, India’s first opponents Curacao have announced their preliminary squad for the same. The popular players in the list include Premier League star Leandro Bacuna, former Leicester City man Liandro Martis and former Southampton defender Cuco Martina.

Curacao head into the tournament having only played and lost one match in the calendar year, but were dominant in 2018. They picked up huge wins in the CONCACAF Nations League, while also picking up a win against Bolivia last year. Graced by the brilliance of Bacuna in midfield, they’ve developed in a hungry side who thrives for incisive attacking football.

This is also incidentally their first time participating in the King’s Cup, as they’ll mimic first-time entrees India in such a manner. Currently the highest rated team in the competition with a FIFA ranking of 82, they’ll be no pushovers and an extremely difficult cog to break down for the Blue Tigers. Bacuna, a prominent feature for Cardiff in their recently concluded season, has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances for his country.

Martina is the most capped player with 40 appearances for his nation, reason why he’s the captain under which they’ve been very successful. Liandro Martis was with former Premier League Champions Leicester for a couple of years, but currently plies his trade with Macclesfield Town in the League Two.


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Moreover, experienced candidate Gevaro Nepomuceno, who plays for League Two side Oldham Athletic, has also been included in the squad for the tournament. Coach Remko Bicentini, who took over helm from Patrick Kluivert in 2016, has also decided to give some fresh faces their opportunities in the tournament. Uncapped players Jimbertson Vapor, Mirco Colina Jr, Bryan Anastacia and Gersinio Constansia have all been selected in the 34-man-squad.

Coming into the tournament with the need to pick up form, Curacao have selected the strongest unit possible to come out victors. With India yet to even announce their next national team coach officially, let alone the squad, it’ll be difficult for the Blue Tigers to prevail in the difficult encounter.

With the might of Premier League experienced superstars and some really talented individuals, Curacao will aim to win some gold to validate their recent success. Come next month, many will remember the name of this small yet passionate footballing nation from the Caribbean region.

Curacao Squad: Charlison Benschop, Jurich Carolina, Roly Bonevacia, Gevaro Nepomuceno, Darryl Lachman, Cuco Martina, Leandro Bacuna, Shermar Martina, Jarchinio Antonio, Shanon Carmelia, Brandley Kuwas, Liandro Martis, Jafar Arias, Elson Hooi, Gino Van Kessel, Ayrton Statie, Kenji Gorre, Shermaine Martina, Eloy Room, Michael Maria, Charlton Vicento, Kemy Agustien, Jurien Gaari, Zeus De La Paz, Gervane Kastaneer, Maiky Fecunda, Rowendy Sumter, Jarzinho Pieter, Ruensley Leuteria, Jurensley Martina, Jimbertson Vapor, Mirco Colina Jr, Bryan Anastacia, Gersinio Constansia.