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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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

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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.

  1. 1. Introduction
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