We have endeavoured to compile a list of the world’s most talked-about players – the most newsworthy players who, by definition, are the most important. We started by drawing up a list of the key players by league – starting with 50 each for the leading leagues in Europe (England, Germany, Spain), 40 for France and Italy, between 15 and 25 for middle-ranking leagues, and ending with between five and 10 for smaller leagues. We then added players who were important figures for their national sides and in their respective regions.

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Omar Abdulrahman – Al Ain/UAE

500Omar-Abdulrahman

A top class attacking midfielder, Omar Abdulrahman has the talent to become the first West Asian footballer to make his mark on the world stage

Vincent ABOUBAKAR – Porto/Cameroon/22/01/1992

Striker who moved to Portugal this summer. Combines pace and physicality with neat technical ability.

Aritz ADURIZ – Athletic Bilbao/Spain/11/02/1981

Veteran Basque centre-forward in terrific goalscoring form in his third spell in Bilbao, typified by his recent winner against Real Madrid.

Ibrahim AFELLAY – Olympiakos/Holland/02/04/1986

Winger who is rebuilding his career on loan in Greece after a knee injury curtailed his impact at Barcelona.

Sergio AGUERO – Manchester City/Argentina/02/06/1988

Brilliant attacker whose goals have been crucial to City’s Premier League success but who has been troubled by injury.

Igor AKINFEEV – CSKA Moscow/Russia/08/04/1986

Key figure for club and country since breaking through as a teen more than a decade ago. Mistakes at the World Cup were blamed on a laser pointer.

Nasser Al SHAMRANI – Al Hilal/Saudi Arabia/23/11/1983

The 2014 Asian Footballer of the Year, despite being sent off in the AFC Champions League Final for butting and spitting at an opponent.

David ALABA – Bayern/Austria/24/06/1992

Austria’s youngest international and a veteran at 22. Versatile left-back and free-kick maestro who plays in midfield for his country.
Jordi ALBA – Barcelona/Spain/21/03/1989

Attacking left-back with considerable pace and powers of recovery who has been consistently excellent for Barca since switching from Valencia in 2012.

Paco ALCACER – Valencia/Spain/30/03/1993

Striker who has played his way into the senior Spain side since last summer’s World Cup with a spate of goals to help his club’s quest for a European spot.

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  • Naruto Uzumaki

    Keisuke Honda is the best.

  • LeoASiqueira

    I see Canteros, but Everton deserved more! He was the best Flamengo player last year.

  • LeoASiqueira

    Citaram o Canteros! Sinal de que nem viram o Everton, melhor do Flamengo em 2014 disparado!