Lionel Messi, David Villa and Luis Fabiano are just some of the superstars at this World Cup whose countries depend on them to win them the prestigious World Cup trophy. They will all be leading contenders for the Golden Boot as well. However, the surprise candidate for the Golden Boot can also become a superstar as he has yet to become one.
Landon Donovan is no household name across Europe especially after his failed spells in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. His career lifted off and has remained in his homeland of the USA starting off at San Jose Earthquakes and now with Los Angeles Galaxy. Though he is classed as a failure in Germany, he is classed as a hero throughout USA.
Donovan is currently the captain of the L.A Galaxy having fought off competition of football icon David Beckham. He has also remained the fans favourite ahead of Beckham which is an achievement itself.
His goal-scoring record in America is impressive with both San Jose Earthquakes and L.A Galaxy. He has also managed to resurrect his career in Europe with a brief loan spell with Premier League side Everton last season. He managed 2 goals in 13 appearances. Although not spectacular, he was a catalyst in Everton?s revival with his high number of assists considering his short time in England.
Donovan has become a national hero in America due to his success with the American national football team. 43 goals in 125 appearances is quite an achievement considering the lack of quality in the side. He has also more recently been shipped out to the left or right to accommodate striker Jozy Altidore meaning Donovan finds it harder to score the goals making it even more remarkable that his strike rate hasn?t deteriorated greatly.
He first shot to prominence at the 2002 World Cup when he scored 2 goals for USA to help them progress to the quarter-finals where they unexpectedly defeated rivals Mexico in the second round with Donovan scoring one of the goals.
Donovan can become a Messi, Villa or Fabiano. He already carries the side and his country?s chances of success. It all depends on him. He has the capabilities of becoming a star player. He has the big-game temperament. He scored twice at the 2002 World Cup. He scored against Italy and Brazil at the 2009 Confederations Cup. He?s already scored at this World Cup.
At this World Cup, he revitalised the USA team against Slovenia. 2-0 down at half-time, they seemed down and out. Straight away, Donovan found himself free down the right wing. Realising no-one was in better positions, he blasted the ball into the roof of the net making it 2-1 and giving USA hope. USA managed to come back to 2-2 but should?ve won it at the end with Maurice Edu volleying Donovan?s free-kick. This denied yet another Donovan assist which is becoming more common than him scoring goals.
Plus, this is Donovan?s time to show the world what he?s capable of. He will have to carry the USA side once again if they?re to progress to the next round of the World Cup. However though, the quality in the USA side has drastically improved. Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are the rising stars for the USA. Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard are regulars for their respective teams in the Premier League and Oguchi Onyewu is at AC Milan. This will lift the pressure off Donovan?s shoulders enabling him to concentrate on his game benefiting the USA side as well.
He has the capabilities of winning the World Cup Golden Boot. With him in his prime, there is no telling what damage he could do to the opposition. He has the chance with his talent as well as the fact that he will take USA?s penalties and free-kicks further enhancing his chances. He?ll be a good bet with punters to put in their Fantasy Football sides considering his goal-scoring exploits and vast number of assists.
Donovan would also benefit with move away from L.A Galaxy to a European giant given the opportunity. This would allow him to fulfil his true potential and be tested to see if he can really become the superstar everybody else knows he can become. He won?t be able to achieve this unless he leaves L.A Galaxy. He?s already the face of USA with many recent American wonder-kids failing catastrophically such as Freddy Adu. What has happened to him now? As well as USA can he be the face of the world?