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.
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
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.