Group C: One to watch

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After exposing little-known Brazilian forward Bernard from Group A and Australia’s Matthew Leckie from Group B, we now take a closer look at Group C, where Colombia’s Teo Gutierrez is poised to take the world stage by storm.

Teo Gutierrez

With much attention given to star forward Radamel Falcao, strike-partner Teofilo Gutierrez is often hidden in the shadows, and is not as widely renowned as his national team-mate.

Yet the well-travelled 28-year-old has a wealth of experience on his side, and with a keen eye for goal, will sure to be more than a handful for opposition defenders.

Starting out at hometown second-division club Barranquilla, his 16 goals in 28 matches earned him a call-up to parent-club Atletico Junior. Despite a difficult start, Gutierrez came into his own in his third year at the club, ending Colombia’s top-flight league as top-scorer and was named by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics as the fourth world First Division top scorer of 2009, having scored 30 goals.

Following stints in Turkey and Mexico, the striker now turns out for Argentine club River Plate. With star front-man Falcao not travelling with the Colombian squad to this year’s Mundial, a lot will be expected from his more-than-able back-up, who will look to add to his 11 goals in 29 games for his country.

READ: World Cup Profile: Colombia

Get the latest edition of KICKOFF magazine to read about many more Rising Stars who are poised to set the World Cup alight.

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