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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Shinji KAGAWA – Dortmund/Japan/17/03/1989

Midfielder who is now back at his former club after a disappointing spell at Manchester United. He remains a talented footballer.

KAKA – Orlando City/Brazil/22/04/1982

Kaka

Arguably the biggest name to have signed for MLS, the former World Player of the Year is the highest-paid player in its history.

Nikos KALTSAS – Veria/Greece/03/05/1990

Goalscoring winger who will move to Panathinaikos in the summer. He has played for Greece at under-19 and under-21 level.

Kevin KAMPL – Dortmund/Slovenia/09/10/1990

Attacking midfielder who moved from Salzburg in January after being named the Austrian league’s 2014 player of the year.

Harry KANE – Tottenham/England/28/07/1993

Striker who is the story of the Premier League season, with his rapid rise from Championship loanee to England contender.

Nikolaos KARELIS – Panathinaikos/Greece/24/02/1992

Attacking midfielder or second striker who is set to play a key role for a new-look Greece after scoring on his international debut last autumn.

Loris KARIUS – Mainz/Germany/22/06/1993

Promising keeper who recently agreed a new contract to stay at Mainz for another three seasons but is still a target of scouts from across Europe.

Robbie KEANE – LA Galaxy/Rep Ireland/08/07/1980

Winner of the 2014 Most Valuable Player award after captaining Galaxy to another MLS title. A natural goalscorer.

Alexander KERZHAKOV – Zenit/Russia/27/11/1982

Striker who, despite his years, is still a key figure for the national side. The Russian Premier League’s all-time leading scorer.

KI Sung-yeung – Swansea/South Korea/24/01/1989

In great form for his club after returning from a perplexing loan spell at Sunderland. A key figure for the Asian Cup Finalists.

  1. 1. Introduction
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