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.
Xherdan SHAQIRI – Inter/Switzerland/10/10/1991
Mercurial midfielder who moved to Serie A from Bayern Munich in January in an attempt to get more starting time.
Roman SHIRIKOV – Krasnodar/Russia/06/07/1991
National captain who missed the 2014 World Cup with a knee injury. Left Zenit last year following a contract dispute.
Gylfi SIGURDSSON – Swansea/Iceland/08/09/1989
Playmaker and free-kick specialist who is enjoying life back at Swansea after a spell at Tottenham.
David SILVA – Manchester City/Spain/08/01/1986
Arguably more important to City than Sergio Aguero as the brains behind the team’s best attacking moves.
Gio SIMEONE – River Plate/Argentina/05/07/1995
Scored eight goals in the recent South American Under-20 Championship and is the son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone.
Moses SIMON – Genk/Nigeria/12/07/1995
Speedy attacker with strong dribbling skills. Moved to Belgium in January after a spell in the Slovakian league, having previously been with Ajax.
Daley SINKGRAVEN Heerenveen/Holland/04/07/1995
Exciting attacking midfielder who joined Ajax from Heerenveen in January for ¤7m. Current Dutch under-21 international.
Moussa SISSOKO – Newcastle/France/16/08/1989
Box-to-box midfielder who has been his club’s best player this season – so is likely to be the next player sold by Mike Ashley.
Pione SISTO – Midtjylland/Denmark/04/02/1995
Uganda-born Danish under-21 international. A striker, he was the 2014 Danish league player of the year and is Denmark’s biggest domestic talent.