World Cup 2014: Player profile - Sime Vrsaljko, the Croatia defender

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

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

68. Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia)

The latest man to roll off the Croatian production line of attacking full backs that has churned out the likes of Robert Jarni and Darijo Srna. Vrsaljko could be the man to benefit from Josip Simunic’s suspension, with first-choice right back Vedran Corluka likely to move into the centre to partner Dejan Lovren. Highly adaptable, good in the air, and tactically astute, it is little wonder the Genoa youngster has reportedly been attracting covetous glances from Arsene Wenger. Vrsaljko says his hero is Dani Alves, whom he may well encounter as an opponent in the tournament’s opening game. Like the Brazilian, he can be reckless in defence, but makes up for this with his marauding contribution in attack: he is an excellent crosser of the ball, and Croatia may look to him to provide the service for the prolific Mario Mandzukic.

Did you know? Vrsaljko was the first player to represent Croatia to be born after the country attained independence in 1992.