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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Ryan GAULD – Sporting/Scotland/16/12/1995

A natural number 10, Gauld’s creativity manifests itself in crisp, swift and inventive passing, attributes that have come to the fore in Sporting’s B team as the young Scot has been carefully bedded into his new surroundings. Dubbed “mini Messi” at former club Dundee United, and Sporting fans will be hoping his decision to pursue his football education abroad proves as fruitful as that of the Argentinian.

Jose GAYA – Valencia/Spain/25/05/1995

Academy product and under-21 left-back who Valencia are keen to tie to a new contract following interest from Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Johannes GEIS – Mainz/Germany/17/08/1993

Versatile attacking midfielder who has represented Germany at every level from under-16 through to under-21. On many club’s wanted lists.

Steven GERRARD – Liverpool/England/30/05/1980

Steven Gerrard

Highly influential captain of Liverpool for the past decade but will move to LA Galaxy in the summer.

GERVINHO – Roma/Ivory Coast/27/05/1987

Since moving to Roma in the summer of 2013, he has become arguably the most important weapon in Roma’s attacking armory. His pace, ability to run past defences and, above all, his delivery of a killer final pass have made him a key performer for Rudi Garcia’s side.

Andre-Pierre GIGNAC – Marseille/France/05/12/1985

Striker whose fine goalscoring form this term has earned a recall to the national side.

Jose GIMENEZ – Atletico Madrid/Uruguay/20/01/1995

Young centre-back who impressed at the 2014 World Cup and has since been courted by some of Europe’s top clubs.

GIOVINCO – Toronto/Italy/26/01/1987

Diminutive Italian international attacker, dubbed “formica atomica” (atomic ant), signed from Juventus in a major coup for MLS.

Olivier GIROUD – Arsenal/France/30/09/1986

Centre-forward who has faced criticism at times during his three seasons at Arsenal but remains a key spearhead of the club’s attack.

Diego GODIN – Atletico Madrid/Uruguay/16/02/1986

Powerful centre-back who was arguably the world’s best defender of 2014 for both club – as they won La Liga – and country.

  1. 1. Introduction
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