CONCACAF Number 7s to Look Out for in the World Cup

This year, the Confederation will be sending three teams to Russia to represent the CONCACAF. With Honduras, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago falling short in the fifth round of qualifications, we’ll be looking to Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama to represent the region.

We recently showcased all three countries’ schedules at the World Cup on South Florida Caribbean News and with so many famous number 7 jerseys in previous FIFA World Cups, we now take a look at the three CONCACAF notables who will play at this year’s tournament.

Christian Bolanos – Costa Rica

With talented players like number 7 Christian Bolanos, who played a big part in getting the national team to Russia, Costa Rica might still repeat their 2014 heroics. Seen as one of the stalwarts of Oscar Ramirez’s side, he has kept his place in the national squad since 2014.

Bolano plays his soccer with Deportivo Saprissa in the Costa Rican Primera Division, after transferring over from the Vancouver White Caps in the MLS. Brought to Vancouver to be a play-making winger, Bolano was a key addition in 2016, scoring five goals and with eight assists over the course of 27 games, 23 of which he started. publication notes that Bolano has 75 caps for his national side including the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cups.

Miguel Layun – Mexico

Star players like Sevilla’s number 7 Miguel Layun are set to continue Mexico’s terrific qualifying run into the 2018 tournament. With stints in top clubs such as Atalanta, Watford, Porto and now Sevilla, the fullback has plenty of experience under his belt. Currently on loan to Spanish side Sevilla from Porto, Layun has distinguished himself as a fullback for both his club and the national side.

Layun’s goal for Sevilla from the wing against Real Madrid also demonstrates he can play as a midfielder. His first international call up came in 2013 and in 2014 he made his World Cup debut against Cameroon. In May of this year, Layun was named for Juan Osorio’s cup squad.

Blas Pérez FC Dallas a CONCACAF Number 7s to Look Out for in the World Cup
Blas Pérez FC Dallas
Blas Perez – Panama

An experienced striker with a keen eye for the dramatic goal, the Panamanian number 7 is known for both his physicality and his ability to get into goal scoring positions. Another alumnus of the MLS, Perez played with FC Dallas side before transferring to rivals Vancouver White Caps in 2016.

As of 2017 he signed with Guatemalan club Municipal. He scored 42 goals in 108 appearances for Dallas and 13 in 32 appearances since moving to Municipal. The 37-year-old made his first international appearance in 2001 and was named “Best XI” at the 2007 Gold Cup. He’s earned over 106 caps for the national side and scored 41 goals.

Throughout past World Cup tournaments many number 7s have graced international soccer stadiums, with notables such as Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, and Kenny Dalglish.

The Guardian state that one notable absentee is French international star and Bayern Munich mainstay, Franck Ribery, who won’t be seen with Le Bleus this year, due to his retirement from international soccer in August of 2014. Counted among the best, and mentored by legend Zinedine Zidane, PartyPoker detail how Ribery made 81 appearances and scored 16 goals for the French national team making him one of the country’s most iconic number 7s.

This included playing in the 2006 World Cup final defeat to Italy. He was also voted French player of year three times. His skills and incredible talent will be missed at this year’s tournament.

Following in the footsteps of the great number 7s, the three CONCACAF number 7s on this list will look to put on a strong performance at this year’s World Cup in Russia and help their respective teams to get as far in the tournament as possible.

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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