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.

TAGS:
Mats HUMMELS – Dormund/Germany/16/12/1988

Central defender and important figure in his country’s World Cup triumph. A reported summer target for Manchester United.

Klaas-Jan HUNTELAAR – Schalke/Holland/12/08/1983

Prolific centre-forward, ex-Ajax, Milan and Real Madrid, who has an impressive scoring record for Holland, despite not always being first choice.

Khalfan IBRAHIM – Al Sadd/Qatar/18/02/1988

Former Asian footballer of the year, central figure of the Qatari national side and leading domestic figure in the Qatar Super League.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic IBRAHIMOVIC – Paris Saint-Germain/Sweden/03/10/1981

Critics claim he fades in big games but 11 league titles in 13 years with six different clubs in four leagues is matchless.

Mauro ICARDI – Inter/Argentina/19/02/1993

Exciting forward with a troubled personal life. On the fringes of the Argentina squad after leading Serie A scoring charts this season.

Gianelli IMBULA – Marseille/France/12/09/1992

Under-21 midfielder who is being tracked by a number of Premier League clubs. Marseille’s best player this season as they challenge for the title.

Andres INIESTA – Barcelona/Spain/11/05/1984

The World Cup-winning midfielder has struggled this season, failing to score or provide his trademark assists. Under contract to Barca until 2018.

INIGO MARTINEZ – Real Sociedad/Spain/17/05/1991

Central defender who has come through the ranks at Sociedad and is being tipped for a summer move to a Champions League club.

Lorenzo INSIGNE Napol/Italy/04/06/1991

Energetic 5ft 4in forward who takes a decent free-kick. Born and raised in Naples. On the way back after damaging knee ligaments last November.

Takashi INUI – Eintracht Frankfurt/Japan/02/06/1988

Attacking midfielder or playmaker who has taken on an increasingly important role for the national side in the past year.

  1. 1. Introduction
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