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Top 10 Footballers in the World.

Editor's Pick
25.00K   //    12 Jul 2011, 09:12 IST

What is the difference between a good footballer and a top footballer? In a layman’s terms, a good footballer is someone who is known either for his sagacious passing, frantic pace, lighting strikes or mesmerizing skills with the ball. A top footballer is a package of all of the above. In addition, what distinguishes a top footballer with a good one is the level at which one plays, the consistency of good showing , the ability to turn a game on it’s head with a moment of sheer brilliance and a preeminent track record. While a good footballer earns respect, a top footballer commands respect. Here’s a list of the top 10 footballers in the world today, who with their awe-inspiring, mindboggling and scintillating displays have won the hearts of billions of football fanatics worldwide.

Carlos Tevez – 10


Club: Manchester City

Position: Striker/Attacking Midfielder

Highlights: Clinical finishing, Effective in set piece situations.

Recent Awards:

FA Premier League Player of the Month – December 2009

PFA Player of the Month – March 2010

Manchester City Supporter’s Player of the Year – 2009-10

Manchester City’s Player’s Player of the Year – 2009-10

Premier League Golden Boot – 2010-11

Speaking of a complete striker, Carlos Tevez is one to reckon with. The bodacious Argentina and Manchester City forward has it all to be among this elite list of players. Known for his wondrous finishes and striking free-kicks, he’s someone who is intelligent enough to read situations and be at the right place at the right time. He’s probably Manchester City’s most important player, who apart from being an able leader is a keystone to City’s attacking forays and fits the tag of “stand and deliver” perfectly well. He is perhaps the best striker in the English Premier League in terms of consistency and his scoring record for City is something which will make other famed strikers in the league hang their heads in shame.  He has scored an impressive 43 goals in 63 appearances for the Citizens.

Kaka – 9


Country: Brazil

Club: Real Madrid

Position: Attacking Midfielder

Highlights: Crisp passing, Creativity in midfield.

Recent Awards:

FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball – 2009

FIFA Confederation Cup Best 11 – 2009

Marca Leyenda – 2009

FIFA World Cup Top Assister – 2010

Kaka is easily among the most recognizable and most respected footballers in the world. The Brazilian ace now plys his trade at a club which has something in common with this revered midfielder’s reputation, both being gargantuan, one in size and the other in credentials. After weaving his magic for Italian giants AC Milan, Kaka made headlines with one of the most expensive switches in world football with a 56 million Euros switch to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in 2009. Known for his creativity in midfield and majestic passing, this Samba boy becomes the centre of attraction when he wants to and can ease past defenders with his penetrative runs and becomes the focal point of his sides attacking raids. Kaka suffered a serious injury last season which forced him out of action but once he’s fit and raring to go he can become any defender’s nightmare.

Steven Gerrard – 8


Country: England

Club: Liverpool

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Central Midfielder

Highlights: Big match player, Inspirational captain.

Recent Awards:

PFA Fans Player of the Year – 2009

PFA Team of the Year – 2009

FIFA World 11 – 2009

Steven Gerrard is someone who exemplifies courage, determination, perseverance and character. As someone who is highly regarded as a messiah by the Anfield faithful, he has earned this tag by rescuing the Reds time and again by putting in heroic performances. Known for his dashing runs, incisive passes, towering crosses and thundering free-kicks, Stevie G easily stands tall among the other big name midfielders in the Premier League. Apart from being a very competent midfielder, he is an inspirational leader who leads the way by setting an example. Injuries have let him down in the last few months but on his day he can terrorize any defense in the world.

Samuel Eto’o – 7


Country: Cameroon

Club: Inter Milan

Position: Striker

Highlights: Best African player, Ace shooter.

Recent Awards:

African Player of the Year – 2010

FIFA Club World Cup – 2010

Samuel Eto’o is perhaps the best talent to have been exported from Africa till date. Eto’o, an ex Catalan, plays a pivotal role up front for Italian heavyweights Inter Milan. Despite being 30 years old and having achieved a lot at the biggest stage, his energy and commitment to the game resembles that of a youngster who’s looking to make it big in world football. Eto’o’s track record has been spectacular having a career average of 1 goal per 2 matches in 469 appearances he has made so far. This veteran forward still has 2-3 more seasons left at the peak of his game and inspite of losing some pace with age, his class remains and is here to stay.  He enjoys the distinction of being the first player to have won two European Continental trebles following his back-to-back achievements with Barcelona and Inter Milan. Samuel Eto’o has also won the African player of the year four times.

Wesley Sneijder – 6

6. Wesley Sneijder

Country: Netherlands

Club: Inter Milan

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Central Midfielder

Highlights: Dead ball specialist, powerful shooting.

Recent Awards:

UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year – 2010

FIFA World Cup All Star Team – 2010

FIFA World Cup Silver Ball – 2010

FIFA World 11 – 2010 Number 1 – 2010

When we speak of goal-scoring midfielders, Wesley Sneijder undoubtedly tops the chart. Having helped his club win the treble in his very first season at Inter Milan and guiding his homeland the Netherlands to the world cup final, Wesley Sniejder is undoubtedly among the best in the world today. Being a dead-ball specialist, Sneijder with his sheer brilliance can bring the game to life with his dexterity in midfield and some mellifluous passing. Quick feet, powerful shooting and and his ability to play with both feet makes him stand out among the crowd of quality midfielders. Sniejder is now heavily linked with a move to Manchester United to take the place of United legend Paul Scholes and looks set to become the Red Devil’s creative heartbeat.

Andres Iniesta – 5

5. Andres Iniesta

Country: Spain

Club: Barcelona

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

Highlights: Unparallel technical prowess, extremely consistent.

Recent Awards:

Spanish Player of the Year – 2009

FIFA World 11 – 2009, 2010

La Liga’s Best Attacking Midfielder – 2009

FIFA World Cup All Star Team – 2010

Prince of Austurias Award – 2010

FIFA Ballon d’Or – 2nd place – 2010

Andres Iniesta is among the most technically sound players in the world. From dribbling to affluent passing… from striking finishes to accurate crosses, Andres Iniesta has mastered it all. Regarded as one of the finest exponents of the passing game, Iniesta has been selflessly serving his club and country and backing it up with consistent performances to assist his teams surpass any challenge which comes their way. Andres Iniesta is a versatile player who can play on the flanks, as a supporting forward and even as a holding midfielder. Iniesta’s virtuosity in midfield is peerless and all his hardwork paid off when he scored the winner in Spain’s epic World Cup 2010 final win against the Netherlands.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 4

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Country: Sweden

Club: Milan

Position: Central Forward

Highlights: Fantastic aerial ability, Superb ball control.

Recent Awards:

Serie A Top Scorer – 2009

Serie A Footballer of the Year – 2009

The Golden Ball – 2009, 2010

UEFA Team of the Year – 2009

Swedish Male Athlete of the Year – 2010

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on loan from Barcelona to Milan is touted by many as the best in terms of aeriel ability for a striker. Besides being a clinical finisher, his ability in set piece situations and masterful ball control makes him among the best in the business. Ibrahimovic’s impressive goal scoring record makes his rivals envious of the man and his incredible credentials. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, besides being a stalwart for Sweden in the international arena, has been performing consistently well for the biggest clubs at the highest possible level in world football. In 2009, while the Ronaldo mania was sweeping the world, Ibrahimovic’s then manager Jose Mourinho came out and hailed his man as the best in the world, ahead of the charismatic Cristiano Ronaldo.

Xavi – 3


Country : Spain

Club: Barcelona

Position: Central Midfielder

Highlights: Best Playmaker in the World.

Recent Awards:

FIFA Ballon d’Or  – 3rd – 2010

World Soccer Player of the Year – 2010

World’s Best Playmaker – 2009, 2010

UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match – 2009

FIFA World 11 – 2009, 2010

FIFA World Cup All Star Team – 2010

The best Playmaker in the world. Xavi Hernandez, without a shadow of a doubt is among the rare breed of footballers who lighten up the football pitch with their sheer presence. While the opponents fret at the sight of the ball heading in his direction, the master with all his supernatural powers doesn’t miss any opportunity to send shockwaves in the enemy dugout. Xavi has helped his national side Spain and club side Barcelona scale new heights. He had been instrumental in Barcelona’s trophy winning spree and was also a chief architect of Spain’s World Cup triumph in 2010, no wonder he’s referred to as the ‘Orchestra Conductor’ for both Spain and Barcelona. Xavi, with his sublime technique, astute passing, accurate crossing and classy finishing is a complete footballer with a cool head. Xavi’s importance in set-piece situations is inexplicably immense and he, with his spellbinding technique will run riot if let loose.

Lionel Messi – 2

2. Lionel Messi

Country: Argentina

Club: Barcelona

Position: Forward/Attacking Midfielder

Highlights: Unstoppable, Magical.

Recent Awards:

FIFA Ballon d’Or – Winner – 2009, 2010

FIFA World Player of the Year – 2009

La Liga Player of the Year – 2009, 2010, 2011

La Liga Top Goalscorer – 2010

Copa Del Rey Top Goalscorer – 2011

UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer – 2009, 2010, 2011

UEFA Champions League final Man of the Match – 2011

UEFA Team of the Year – 2009, 2010

FIFPro World Player of the Year – 2009, 2010

Is that a Bird? Is that a Plane? Is that even some kind of a Superhero? Hell No! That is one and only… Lionel Messi. When one talks about Lionel Messi, one talks about someone in a different league. Imaginable fantasies do not do justice to this fantabulous footballer who graces the world once in a lifetime. No amount of adjectives can describe the beauty which this pocket sized powerhouse brings with him on the pitch and when Messi plays, the world stops and gazes. Lionel Messi, with his lightning pace, ball control being second to none and mindblasting skills leave the best of defenders dazed and gasping for breath.  Messi has been instrumental in almost all of Barcelona’s wins with the help of Xavi and co. and his staggering goal scoring record in the last few seasons, particularly the last two leaves a lot to be desired. An icon for every kid in town, Lionel Messi is regarded by many as the best player in the world.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 1

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Country: Portugal

Club: Real Madrid

Position: Winger/Forward

Highlights: The Best in the World.

Recent Awards:

FIFA World Player of the Year – 2008

Copa Del Rey Top Scorer – 2010-11

La Liga Top Scorer – 2010-11

FIFAPro World 11 – 2008-09, 2009-10

European Golden Shoe – 2010-11

FIFA Puskas Award – 2009

UEFA Team of the Year – 2009-10

Cristiano Ronaldo. The Best known player on the planet. The Best Player on the planet as well. Ronaldo, unlike his closest rival Lionel Messi is a one man army. Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t need the likes of Xavi and Iniesta to feed him. He doesn’t need to be a part of the best team in the world to prove his greatness. Infact,Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t need to be a striker to score 40 goals in 34 appearances for Real Madrid and be the top scorer in the Spanish La Liga. No matter what club he plays for, his contribution will always outweigh that of his rivals in any league, any place in the world. After conquering England with Manchester United, the Portuguese superhuman turned his attention to Spain and moved to Real Madrid for a record 80 million pounds. It won’t be long before we see a change of guard in Spain. In terms of footballing ability alone, Cristiano Ronaldo is second to none. He’s a perfect example of a complete footballer. His mesmerizing dribbling skills, scintillating runs, error-free crosses, lethal finishing are just some of his traits. He’s a very competent header of the ball and his physic makes him ideal in set piece situations. He’s perhaps, the best free-kick taker in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo is the most dynamic footballer alive and while some might disagree, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s better than Messi, a more complete footballer than Messi which makes him the best in the world.

Notable names who missed out:

Wayne Rooney

Douglas Maicon

Fernando Torres

Nemanja Vidic

Cesc Fabregas

Didier Drogba

David Villa

Bastain Schweinstiger

Sergio Aguero

Arjen Robben

Robin Van Persie

I'm basically a sports buff and a music aficionado. Football is my passion and Arsenal is my love. I've blogged on Arsenal football club, Indian football and Global Warming. Have been a moderator with ESPN-Star Sports forum and am an active member on some renowned football forums based in the UK.
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