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Ryan Thomas named among 5 young stars set to shine in Russia at FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup

Ryan Thomas, New Zealand, 22

Thomas is one of the few footballers from New Zealand to appear regularly in one of Europe’s top-tier leagues. The left winger made his debut for Dutch Eredivisie team PEC Zwolle in 2014, having moved from home team Waikato FC.

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Since then he’s made more than 100 appearances for the Dutch side, impressing fans with his quick feet.

An important part of New Zealand head coach Anthony Hudson’s attacking philosophy, Thomas was on target twice in the country’s last World Cup qualifier against Fiji.

I’m really looking forward to [Russia 2017],” Thomas told FIFA.com. “The chance to play in front of big crowds and against massive teams will be a great experience for me.

You can expect an attacking, high-tempo game from us. The main thing is to try and enjoy the experience. A lot of our boys are playing at a good level in Europe, so we are not going to worry about the level going into the Confederations Cup. We are just going to worry about the game and sticking to our gameplan.

Confederations Cup dates

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup takes place from June 17 to July 2, across four Russian cities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi and Kazan.

It serves as a precursor to the 2018 World Cup, which will also be held in Russia next year, and will feature the champions of FIFA’s six continental confederations: Portugal, Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Australia, New Zealand, as well as current World Cup champions Germany, and hosts Russia.

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