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‘94 STARS ABOUND, BUT THERE’S NOT AN AMERICAN IN THE BUNCH

SHARE ‘94 STARS ABOUND, BUT THERE’S NOT AN AMERICAN IN THE BUNCH

A look at some of the star players in the 1994 World Cup:

Faustino Asprilla, Colombia

He can be rowdy and juvenile, but a magnificent player who will turn cartwheels after goals. Asprilla scored 10 Italian League goals on the Parma team that beat AC Milan in the European SuperCup. Capable of the totally unexpected, the speedy Colombian can be the catalyst that will make his team a title contender.

Roberto Baggio, Italy

Baggio, the 1993 world player of the year, has the ability to raise Italy to a fourth World Cup title. He can easily outdribble defenders and put the ball just inches from the goalkeeper's reach. The ponytailed forward is the best, and sometimes only, scorer on the Azzurri. He has 109 goals in 219 Italian League games with Fiorentina and Juventus, and 19 goals in 33 games with the national team.

Franco Baresi, Italy

Baresi quit the Italian team two years ago to concentrate on playing for AC Milan. When Italy started leaking goals, he was persuaded to return. The 33-year-old sweeper, a master at always being one step ahead of opponents, is in charge of the most miserly defense in soccer. He is the captain of both Italy and AC Milan.

Gabriel Batistuta, Argentina

A fierce goal scorer who is dubbed "Archangel Gabriel." He scored the winning goal in the playoff with Australia that sent Argentina to this World Cup. Batistuta, with a powerful right foot, has played well for a weak Fiorentina team that dropped to the second division of the Italian League in 1993-94.

Bebeto, Brazil

A lithe acrobat who uses quickness to beat defenders, a clairvoyant passer and deadly shooter. He he is an ideal complement to teammate Romario. Bebeto scored 16 goals this season for Deportivo de La Coruna in Spain after leading the league with 29 goals in 1992-93.

Dennis Bergkamp, Netherlands

Simply one of the best strikers today. He has twice led the Dutch League in scoring and now plays in Italy. He helped Internazionale of Milan to the UEFA Cup following a poor season for the club. The 25-year-old forward has been schooled by Johan Cruyff.

Thomas Haessler, Germany

A small midfielder whose free kicks can be especially lethal. He played in the 1990 World Cup and the 1992 European Championship, bending the ball over walls and under crossbars. One of three finalists for 1992 player of the year, he now plays for AS Roma in the Italian League.

Gheorghe Hagi, Romania

A midfielder with abundant talent and outstanding dribbling skills, Hagi is nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians." He was signed by Real Madrid for $3.5 million after the 1990 World Cup and now plays for Brescia in Italy. Hagi is closing in on becoming his country's career scoring leader with 21 goals in 80 appearances.

Juergen Klinsmann, Germany

A forward who will stand out even if he doesn't stand up. He played for AS Monaco the last two seasons after playing for the Internazionale of Milan team that won the Italian League in 1989 and the UEFA Cup in 1991. He has a reputation of tumbling to the ground under the slightest of pressure from defenders to gain a free kick or penalty. He's practiced his English and may become a media darling this summer.

Ronald Koeman, Netherlands

Koeman had a disappointing Champions Cup final for Barcelona against AC Milan, but will figure prominently in the World Cup as a sweeper. Any opponent who concedes a free kick within 30 yards from goal will be wary of his swerving and unerringly accurate shots. His curving 20-yard shot over a wall with nine minutes left in overtime gave Barcelona a 1-0 victory over Sampdoria in the 1992 Champions Cup final. His long passing from defense is another big weapon for the Dutch.

Diego Maradona, Argentina

Maradona, 34, is unlikely to reproduce the performances that earned him superstar status in 1986. Now slower, chubbier and injury-prone, Maradona has to prove he has overcome his 15-month suspension for cocaine use and can be a force again. Argentina, which lost to Germany 1-0 in the 1990 final, is a tough team to beat and Maradona's presence inspires the Argentines.

Paul McGrath, Ireland

McGrath excels in reading the game. The 33-year-old Aston Villa central defender hardly trains because of knee problems, but still delivers on the field with his well-timed tackles and power in the air.

Thomas Ravelli, Sweden

One of the best goalkeepers in the world. Excellent hands and an exceptional jumper. At age 9, he could high jump 6 feet. Ravelli has made more international appearances than any goalkeeper in Swedish history. He has played on four championship teams in Sweden, the last two with his current club, IFK Goteborg.

Romario, Brazil

Romario and Spanish-based star Bebeto will give Brazil the best front line. Romario led the Spanish League with 30 goals, sending Barcelona to its fourth consecutive title. He has the talent to unhinge the strongest defenses.

Enzo Scifo, Belgium

The Italian-born midfielder became one of the World Cup stars in Italy four years ago. He has been called anything from a fickle prima donna to an undisputed maestro during a decade of ups and downs at the heart of Belgium's national team. The way he's playing for AS Monaco, he should add the creative spark lacking in Belgium's attack.