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 his two-and-a-half years in the French capital, Moura has clocked up over 100 first-team appearances, including a lung-busting 53 matches last term. There has been some talk of Moura leaving PSG but, given his impressive showing this campaign, that possibility seems less and less likely.
Franklin LUCENA – D La Guiara/Venezuela/20/02/1981
No-frills central midfielder who has been one of the most reliable players in the Venezuelan league for over a decade.
LUIS FABIANO – Sao Paulo/Brazil/08/11/1980
Veteran international centre-forward, who was first choice in the 2010 World Cup and is still hunting more silverware towards the end of his career.
LUISAO – Benfica/Brazil/13/02/1981
A symbol of Benfica and an oddity in the club’s contemporary history given his loyalty to the club – despite exit rumours every summer.
David LUIZ – PSG/Brazil/22/04/1987
The world’s most expensive defender after being sold by Chelsea for a fee in the region of £50m last summer.
LUIZ ADRIANO – Shakhtar/Brazil/12/04/1987
Outstanding in last autumn’s Champions League group stages, scoring five goals in one match against BATE of Belarus.
LUIZ GUSTAVO – Wolfsburg/Brazil/23/07/1987
Midfielder whose influence at Wolfsburg may have waned but he has still been included in all of Dunga’s post World Cup squads.
Romelu LUKAKU – Everton/Belgium/13/05/1993
Powerful centre-forward who has yet to repay his £28m transfer fee for Everton but remains a key figure for the Belgian national side.
Mario MANDZUKIC – Atletico Madrid/Croatia/21/05/1986
Signed to replace Diego Costa and has experienced a solid first season in Spain as the club’s top scorer.
Cristian MANEA – FC Viitorul/Romania/09/08/1997
Right-back who has enjoyed a miraculous rise in the last six months, making his international debut and agreeing a deal to join Chelsea this summer.