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.
Luka MODRIC – Real Madrid/Croatia/09/09/1985
One of the world’s best playmakers. His injury absence through December 2014 and early 2015 was linked to Madrid’s dip in form.
Jefferson MONTERO – Swansea/Ecuador/01/09/1989
The winger took time to settle in the Premier League but will be crucial for Ecuador at the Copa America.
Luis MONTES – Leon/Mexico/15/05/1986
Midfielder who broke a leg just before last year’s World Cup when he was supposed to be Mexico’s number 10. He’s back now at a very good level.
Alvaro MORATA – Juventus/Spain/23/10/1992
The striker was squeezed out of Real Madrid last summer but has thrived since moving to Italy, despite the burden of a ¤20m price tag.
Héctor MORENO – Espanyol/Mexico/05/07/1992
Left-sided centre-back whose performances in La Liga and Mexico’s national side have alerted a number of Europe’s leading clubs.
Thiago MOTTA – PSG/Italy/28/08/1982
Midfielder who won two caps for Brazil before switching his allegiance – his paternal grandfather being Italian.
Thomas MULLER – Bayern/Germany/13/09/1989
Golden Boot winner who has 10 World Cup finals goals to his name and he can easily surpass Miroslav Klose’s world record.
Luis MURIEL – Sampdoria/Colombia/16/04/1991
Highly rated forward who left Udinese in the January transfer window in a ¤12m deal, having moved to Europe in 2010.
Ahmed MUSA – CSKA Moscow/Nigeria/14/10/1992
Pacey dribbler who made the move to Russia from Holland. Plays a key attacking role for Nigeria’s national side.
Fernando MUSLERA – Galatasaray/Uruguay/16/06/1986
First-choice keeper who was a key figure in Uruguay’s 2011 Copa America victory and the 2010 World Cup.