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.
In the best traditions of Brazilian rampaging full-backs. Moved to Portugal in 2011 and is being watched by a number of top European clubs.
ALEX TEIXEIRA – Shakhtar/Brazil/06/01/1990
Attacking midfielder who is the latest Brazilian to emerge at Shakhtar. Has played for his country at
Osvaldo ALONSO – Seattle Sounders/Cuba/11/11/1985
Cuban-born midfielder who defected to the USA at the 2007 Gold Cup. Speculation is growing that he could play for the US.
ANDERSON – Internacional/Brazil/13/04/1988
A left-footed midfielder whose potential has been undermined by injuries and a lack of focus. Were his new club reckless in offering a four-year contract?
Andre ANDRE – Guimaraes/Portugal/26/08/1989
Goalscoring midfielder who has been one of the stars of Guimaraes’ impressive season. Joined from Varzim three seasons ago.
Charles ARANGUIZ – Internacional/Chile/17/04/1989
Product of the Cobreola academy in his native land. The dynamic midfielder is a stalwart for club and country.
ARDA Turan – Atletico Madrid/Turkey/30/01/1987
Attacking midfielder and captain of his national side, he was also a key performer in Atletico’s league triumph last season.
ARI – Krasnodar/Brazil/11/12/1985
A regular scorer in the Russian league after spells in Sweden and Holland. In talks about taking Russian citizenship.
Maximilian ARNOLD – Wolfsburg/Germany/27/05/1994
Goalscoring midfielder who is excelling for Bundesliga high-flyers Wolfsburg. In Germany’s pre-World Cup squad but missed final cut.
Stefanos ATHANASIADIS – PAOK/Greece/24/12/1988
In fine goalscoring form for PAOK in this season’s Europa League, including an 18-minute hat-trick against Dinamo Minsk.