From talented, young stars to wily veterans, the 2014 FIFA World Cup captains showcase their nations’ character and thirst to win. Headlining the list are dynamic captains such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Clint Dempsey. But these are only a few of the many notable skippers vying for World Cup glory in Brazil.

Meet The 2014 World Cup Captains Slideshow


Clint Dempsey (United States)

Dempsey plays football with a competitive fire and heart that are unrivaled. Dempsey is one of three Americans to score in multiple World Cups. USA’s national team is molded around the character the captain brings to the field. Dempsey told, "We work hard as a team and we need that to not change if we’re going to achieve."


Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Ronaldo, 29, has broken numerous records in football with his unrivaled scoring skills. The thrilling striker holds the goal-scoring record for Portugal at 49 international goals, according to Brazil 2014 is the perfect stage for Ronaldo to lift Portugal to a World Cup and himself to the upper echelon of legendary footballers.


Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Words cannot describe Lionel Messi's talent. According to, Argentina national coach Alejandro Sabella said, "It’s got to the stage where you have to invent a new adjective for him." Breaking down defenses in and around the box and putting ball in the back of the net are at the forefront of Messi’s arsenal. With these offensive weapons Messi hopes to cement his legacy as a legendary footballer with a World Cup win in Brazil.


Thiago Silva (Brazil)

Thiago Silva is a battle-tested and resilient footballer. His reliability makes Silva ideal to lead a Brazil team in a competitive World Cup field on its home stage. Silva battled injury and illness early in his career, but joined the Brazilian club Fluminense in 2006 earning the nickname "Monstro." In recent years with AC Milan Silva marked himself as one of the world's great center-halves.


Phillip Lahm (Germany)

At 30, Lahm is in the prime of his career. Equipped with superb tackling skills and versatility on the field, Lahm is one of football's most dangerous midfielders. Placing third in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, Lahm and Germany are knocking on the door of football's most coveted trophy. Hungry for the Cup, Lahm said in an interview with, "I hope I'll be playing football on 13 July [the date set for the World Cup finals match]."


Mario Yepes (Colombia)

"Experienced leader" is an understatement when talking about Mario Yepes’s captaincy. He was captain on each of the eight clubs he has played for, according to Father Time is catching up to Yepes’s legs after his 19-year career. But Colombian teammate Camilio Zuniga is not worried about the defenseman's age, telling Yepes, "You have to be there. We'll do the running for you," according to


Diego Lugano (Uruguay)

Lugano is a dominant central defender because of his ferocious defense and ability to make plays in the air. Paired with his defensive prowess Lugano’s presence in the locker room makes him fit to be Uruguay’s captain on and off the field.


Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Arguably one of the best goalkeepers of all-time, Buffon had a brilliant overtime and penalty saves to lead Italy to a World Cup victory in 2006. The 36 year-old Buffon has hardly lost a step, surpassing Fabio Cannavaro in 2013 as the Azzurra's caps leader, according to


Georgios Karagounis (Greece)

Stout and skillful Georgios Karagounis is still producing for Greece at 37. His best days behind him, Karagounis started only four games of the ten he played on the way to Brazil. But his work ethic, impact from the bench, and leadership prove to be vital for Greece to make a World Cup run in Brazil.


Vincent Kompany (Belgium)

As captain of Manchester City since the 2011-12 season, Kompany has built a legacy on the European scene. But as captain of his native Belgium, Kompany has yet to perform in a World Cup. Brazil 2014 is Kompany's chance to lead his team onto the global stage with the confidence that has defined his career.


Claudio Bravo (Chile)

Bravo's position on the Chilean national team is as much leader as it is goalkeeper. Bravo earned the nickname Monin (Little Monkey) for his quick reflexes in the goal. The ultimate testament to Bravo’s captaincy is the street named after him in his hometown of Buin, according to


Robin van Persie (Netherlands)

Coming off one his most injury-ridden seasons, van Persie is looking to add to his Dutch record 45 scores in Brazil. Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal, stripped Wesley Snejder of the captain's armband and gave it to Van Persie in June 2013. Van Persie’s toughness and durability will lead the Dutch attack through Brazil.


Hugo Lloris (France)

Lloris is a well-balanced goalkeeper and his consistency is key to a successful French performance in Brazil. Confidence in Lloris to lead was shown by coach Laurent Blanc in 2010 and again by new head coach Didier Deschamps in 2012. The 27 year-old keeper is in his prime and promises to deliver as France's decisive leader.


Sergey Ignashevich (Russia)

A 34-year-old defender, Ignashevich is an integral part of the Russia’s national squad. Russia failed to qualify in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, so this will be Iganshevich's first bout on football’s largest stage.


Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)

Gyan, 28, is Ghana's comeback kid. After floundering a penalty kick that would have sent Ghana to the South Africa 2010 semifinals, Gyan took a break from international football. Upon his return, Gyan was rewarded the captain's armband for his resiliency. Since then, Gyan has proved himself worthy of the captaincy with the development of his "searing pace with a deadly touch," according to


Gokhan Inler (Switzerland)

Inler has been Switzerland’s Mr. Reliable during its 2014 campaign. He has played in all of Switzerland’s World Cup qualifiers. The midfielder’s consistency at the helm sets the tone for Switzerland’s push in Brazil 2014.


Rafael Marquez (Mexico)

Marquez is the first player to ever captain his national team through four consecutive World Cups, according to A formidable defender and one of the best in Mexican football history, Marquez rightfully leads Mexico through a group stage with host and international rival Brazil.


Darijo Srna (Croatia)

Croatia idolizes Srna, 32, as a national football icon. He is a persistent force on the soccer field, rarely giving opponents room to work past him. Srna can get it done on the other end of the field as well. The defender holds 21 international goals in his 113 caps, according to


Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire)

The famed African footballer was 24 in 2002 when he became the first Cote d'Ivoire player to ever score in a FIFA World Cup game, according to


Steven Gerrard (England)

The dynamic English midfielder simply finds ways to put the ball in the net. Gerrard,34, is a marquee player who comes up big in defining moments -- he fired a 30-yard strike to set up a shootout success in the 2006 FA Cup final. Gerrard brings England pride and the captain’s armband justice with his playmaking ability.


Emir Spahic (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Spahic's sound defensive play in the UEFA Champions League “brings much-needed pedigree and experience Bosnia-Herzegovina's backline," according to


Madjid Bouguerra (Algeria)

Bouguerra hopes to lead Algeria to a different outcome in Brazil after its failure to get of the group stage in 2010. The Algerian captain is off to a good start leading Les Verts through a successful qualifying campaign with solid defensive performances.


Antonio Valencia (Ecuador)

Antonio Valencia (Ecuador): This Ecuadorian speedster has pinpoint passing and crossing skills that are unmatched in international football. Though young Antonio Valencia, 28, is an experienced champion with Manchester United. Ecuador will undoubtedly look to Valencia for experience and elite plays on football’s global stage.


Noel Valladares (Honduras)

Valadares is Honduras' born and bred leader, spending his entire playing career in his home country. "His main strength is as a shot-stopper and is particularly impressive when defending his goal from close range,” according to The captain's 19 years of professional experience are indispensible if Honduras is to make it out of the group stage.


Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica)

Ruiz has developed into a dynamic scorer on the club scene. The forward has not played to his potential for Costa Rica on the international scene, according to, but he scored the winning goal against Italy. Ruiz's experience in Africa 2010 and the Brazil 2014 qualifiers give the Costa Rican captain and the team much-needed confidence in their push for the World Cup.


Javad Nekounam (Iran)

Nekounam, 33, leads Iran by example through his consistent play on both sides of the ball. Aside from causing trouble for opposing offenses, the midfielder is Iran's leading scorer with 37 international goals. If Nekounam's recent scoring streak continues -- five goals in 12 appearances with Al Kuwait, according to -- Iran could make some noise in the group stage.


Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

For more than a decade, Enyeama's ability to stop shots has kept Nigeria afloat when its defense breaks down. Nicknamed ‘The Cat,’ Enyeama’ has the agility in goal to make one-on-one matchups difficult for strikers to win. On occasion the captain has even converted a penalty score.


Makoto Hasebe (Japan)

Hasebe, 30, is the face of the Japanese national team. As a defensive midfielder, Hasebe has dribbling skills and pinpoint passing that are integral in transition to Japan's attack. Undoubtedly Japan’s hopes for success in Brazil are stitched to the armband of the iconic captain.


Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon)

A Cameroonian legend, Eto'o is not finished writing his legacy as one of the greatest African footballers quite yet. The four-time African Footballer of the Year has been to four World Cups and won the 2000 Olympics.


Koo Jacheol (South Korea)

Jacheol, 25, shows tenacity and leadership beyond his age. As central midfielder Koo Jacheol conducts the flow of the game, offensively and defensively, for South Korea. Jacheol captained his country to the semifinals in the 2012 Olympics.


Mile Jedinak (Australia)

Jedinak, 29, first adorned the captain's armband in March, according to He is coming off a sensational 2013 season in which he was named Australian Player of the Year.


Iker Casillas (Spain)

Despite not being an immediate starter for Real Madrid this past season, Casillas is the undeniable leader of Spain's national team. Playing for the Real Madrid Club since childhood, Spanish football is embroidered on the goalkeeper's playing career. Casillas lead Spain to win the 2008 European Cup, 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

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