World Cup 2014: Player profile - who is Javad Nekounam, the Iran midfielder?

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

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The Independent Football

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?

With 88 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.

88. Javad Nekounam (Iran)

Arguably Iran’s stand-out player, Javad Nekounam currently plays for Kuwaiti side, Al Kuwait SC. Nekounam, nickname ‘Neku’, played in Spain’s La Liga with Osasuna for six years, where he played against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

The 33-year-old was one short of making his 150th appearance for the Spanish outfit, before being released, joining Iranian side, Esteghlal. A defensive midfielder, Nekounam likes to break up play and sit as a typical midfield anchor man. In addition to controlling the midfield, the Iranian captain also has an eye for goal from range, very similar to the style of play of Frank Lampard.  

Did you know? Before joining Osasuna, Nekounam had bids accepted for his services from German side, Hertha Berlin and seven time French champions Lyon.