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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 15:47 UK

The 'nearly' Scots at the World Cup

Italy midfielder Gennaro Gattuso
Former Rangers star Gennaro Gattuso will be hoping to lift the World Cup for a second time

by Stevie Miller

Scotland may not have qualified for this year's World Cup finals, but there should be plenty of well-known faces for Scots fans in South Africa.

Many of the national squads will feature players who ply, or have plied, their trade in the Scottish Premier League, while a few players with Scottish connections might be left frustrated at missing out on the tournament.

The competing countries must announce their final 23-man squads by 1 June, so we'll know then how many adopted Scots will actually make it to the finals.

So, if you're north of the border, and looking for someone to support, here's our guide to South Africa's 'almost Scottish' talent.

GROUP A

It's hard lines for former Rangers central defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, now of Lyon, who has failed to make France's 24-man preliminary squad, despite going to the finals of Euro 2004, the World Cup finals of 2006 and Euro 2008.

GROUP B

Celtic fringe player Ki Sung-Yong manages to make South Korea's 26-man preliminary squad, despite making only five starts for the Glasgow club last season.

Ki should face up to Celtic teammate Georgios Samaras who is in Greece's 30-man preliminary squad where he is joined by former Rangers central defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, now with Liverpool.

GROUP C

SPL PLAYERS AT THE WORLD CUP
Celtic: Ki Sung-Yong (South Korea), Georgios Samaras (Greece), Landry N'Guemo (Cameroon), Edson Braafheid (Netherlands)
Rangers: Madjid Bougherra (Algeria), DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu (USA)
Hearts: Laryea Kingston (Ghana)
Hibernian: Sol Bamba (Cote d'Ivoire)
Motherwell: Michael McGlinchey (New Zealand)
Dundee Utd: Dusan Pernis (Slovakia)

Rangers

duo DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu make the American preliminary squad along with the only genuine Scottish participant at the World Cup, Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden.

Holden was born in Aberdeen but emigrated to the United States at the age of ten where he played for Houston Dynamos before signing for Owen Coyle's side in January.

Rangers' centre-half Madjid Bougherra is in Algeria's preliminary squad and is set to be a key player for the African side after a strong performance in the Africa Cup of Nations.

GROUP D

Australia have named ex-Rangers central defender Craig Moore - currently without a club - and former Motherwell and Celtic striker Scott McDonald in their 31-man preliminary squad.

Hearts midfielder Laryea Kingston makes the Ghana squad along with his brother, goalkeeper Richard Kingson. In case you're wondering about the surname, Laryea's name is mis-spelled on his passport.

GROUP E

Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura
Former Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is set to captain Japan

Ex-Rangers

midfielder Giovanni Van Bronkhorst is expected to captain the Netherlands at left-back, with Celtic's on-loan Bayern Munich man Edson Braafheid his likely replacement should anything happen to him. Both are in the 27-man preliminary squad.

Former Rangers goalkeeper Jesper Christiansen makes the 26-man Danish preliminary squad as backup to Thomas Sorensen.

Former Celtic favourite Shunsuke Nakamura, back in Japan after a spell with Espanyol, is in line to captain Japan after the naming of their final squad.

Paul Le Guen, the former Rangers manager, is in charge of Cameroon and has named Celtic midfielder Landry N'Guemo, on loan from French side Nancy, in his preliminary squad.

GROUP F

Former Rangers midfielder Rino Gattuso, a member of the 2006 World Cup-winning side, makes the preliminary squad of holders Italy.

Three 'Scots' make the New Zealand final squad as the All Whites prepare for their first World Cup since 1982 - when they were defeated 5-2 by Scotland in Spain.

Former St Johnstone keeper Mark Paston, Motherwell midfielder Michael McGlinchey and ex-Hibs and Celtic striker Chris Killen are all on the way to South Africa.

But there is no place for Kilmarnock centre-back Steven Old despite being part of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squad.

Dundee Utd goalkeeper Dusan Pernis, memorably interviewed by BBC Scotland's Jim Spence, is included in the Slovakia preliminary squad.

GROUP G

Hibernian defender Sol Bamba has impressed manager Sven-Goran Eriksson enough to make the Cote d'Ivoire preliminary squad.

Finally, ex-Rangers midfielder Pedro Mendes, who transferred to Sporting Lisbon in January, is in the Portuguese 24-man preliminary squad.

And if you're still struggling to find someone to support, how about Uruguay defender Andrés Scotti?

Or fans of a certain Third Division club could go for Ghana's Anthony Annan?

But personally, I'm supporting my distant relative, Chile midfielder Rodrigo Millar - just like in 1990 when my Uncle Roger starred for Cameroon...



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see also
A reporter should know when to give up
10 Dec 09 |  Scotland
Hearts to release big-name four
13 May 10 |  Hearts
Bamba predicts special World Cup
19 Feb 10 |  Hibernian
Trio destined for Ibrox departure
09 May 10 |  Rangers
Holden sets Bolton return target
06 Apr 10 |  Bolton
Dutch name final World Cup squad
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010


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