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Follow these footsteps: Players to look out for

In a two-part series, HT takes a look at the players likely to set the field ablaze. We suggest you keep your seat belts fastened while watching them play.
None | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUN 05, 2008 02:02 PM IST


Born: 19.12.1987
Country: France
Position: Forward
Jersey No: 9

Karim Benzema is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in France’s Ligue 1 this season. The Euro Championship is the first platform for the 20-year-old striker to showcase his skills internationally. The Lyon player, who on his debut scored the lone goal in a friendly against Austria in March 2007, aims to lead from the front. In five Euro 2008 qualification matches, he scored two goals in a 6-0 away win over the Faroe Islands.

A strong, quick forward with a keen eye for goals the French player has all the attributes to become a world-class striker. He is widely compared to Zinédine Zidane because of his looks and Algerian ancestry and his playing style. He is one star expected to make heads turn and take notice.

Name: Cristiano Ronaldo

Born: 05.02.1985
Country: Portugal
Position: Forward
Jersey No: 7

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo will be the major attraction and one player who is certain to hog all the limelight during Euro 2008. The Manchester United winger has already had a phenomenal season with the English Club. The 22-year-old star with his consistent and prolific goal-scoring skills, has helped Sir Alex Ferguson coached club to double glory wining the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League titles. He scored a total of 42 goals for the

‘Red Devils’.

The Euro Championship gives him the chance of to add another medal to his showcase, and the opportunity to help his country win the trophy, which Portugal has never won.

Name: Wesley Sneijder

Born: 09.06.1984
Country: Netherlands
Position: midfield
Jersey No: 10

Wesley Sneijder is an exceptional midfielder who has the ability to shoot powerfully with both legs. He was a fringe player of the Dutch squad four years ago in Portugal and played in a predominantly defensive midfield role at the last FIFA World Cup. The Dutch will expect much more from this youngster, a product of the world-renowned Ajax youth system, in an attacking capacity this time around, especially after a productive first season at Real Madrid.

After a brilliant season with Madrid, this mercurial midfielder will be expected to make an impact in the international scene.

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